Brined Roast Turkey

27 November 2008 3 comments

This is Emeril Lagasse's recipe and it is very good. The turkey turned out very moist and still is even when reheated the next day. It is definitely a keeper.


1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey
Brine, recipe follows
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large yellow onion, cut into 8ths
1 large orange, cut into 8ths
1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, for basting
Turkey Broth:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Reserved turkey neck and giblets
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 small bay leaf
3 cups turkey stock, chicken stock, or canned low-salt chicken broth
3 cups water
4 cups turkey broth
1 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey and reserve for the gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water.
Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place breast side down in a large, heavy roasting pan, and rub on all sides with the butter. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and thyme. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string.

For the turkey broth: Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the turkey neck, heart, and gizzard to the pan and saute until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add the chopped vegetables and bay leaf to the pan and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Pour the stock and 3 cups of water into the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the stock is reduced to 4 cups, about 1 hour, adding the chopped liver to the pan during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Strain the stock into a clean pot or large measuring cup. Pull the meat off the neck, chop the neck meat and giblets, and set aside.

Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, turn, and baste with 1/2 cup stock. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking time. Baste the turkey once every hour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock.

Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

For the pan gravy: Pour the reserved turkey pan juices into a glass-measuring cup and skim off the fat. Place the roasting pan on 2 stovetop burners over medium heat add the pan juice and 1 cup turkey broth and the white wine to the pan, and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining 3 cup of broth and bring to a simmer, then transfer to a measuring cup.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux. Add the hot stock, whisking constantly, then simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved neck meat and giblets to the pan and adjust seasoning, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Pour into a gravy boat and serve.

1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary

To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage bag.) Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.
Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.


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Osso Buco - My Favorite Italian Dish

08 November 2008 8 comments

KusineraUSA Osso Buco

I've seen this dish prepared by TV chefs all the time but have not tried cooking it. While in Italy last summer, I tried Osso Buco for the first time at a restaurant in Florence named La Bussola Ristorante Pizzeria and I was in heaven. You can see in the photo below that it was served with steamed rice and the sauce La Bussola Osso Bucohas A LOT of tomatoes. I love tomatoes so I didn't mind it at all.

If you're not familiar with Osso Buco, it is a regional dish from Piedmont in Italy. It is made with veal shanks although if that is not available, you can substitute beef shanks instead. For the dry white wine, I used Chardonnay since that's what's readily available in my fridge. I also used canned tomatoes.
This recipe is from and I found it to my liking. It is the classic version of Osso Buco. I omitted the orange zest since I don't remember tasting it in Italy., You can also use the crockpot in cooking this. You only need to brown the shanks and saute the veggies on the stove top first before adding all of the ingredients to the crockpot. This recipe is a keeper. It is as close to the Osso Buco I had in Florence and I will definitely make it again.

4 pounds (1.8 kg) veal shanks, cut in 1 1/2-inch ( 4 cm) slices
1/4 cup (30 g/1 oz) flour
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter

2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 bottle (375 ml) dry white wine
a 14.5-ounce (435 g) can plum tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
grated zest of 2 oranges (I omitted this)
1 cup (250 ml/8 fl oz) veal stock, more if needed

1. Heat the oven to 350°F (176°F/Gas 4). Put the flour on a plate, add generous amounts of salt and pepper, and coat the veal slices, with flour, patting to remove the excess. Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan or frying pan big enough for all the veal slices to touch the bottom. Add half the slices and brown them over quite high heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn them, brown the other side and remove them to a plate. Brown the remaining slices and remove them also.

2. Lower the heat to medium, add the onion and carrot and sauté until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour in the wine and boil until reduced by half, stirring to dissolve the pan juices. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, orange zest, veal stock, salt, and pepper. Immerse the veal slices in this sauce — the liquid should come at least halfway up the sides. Cover the pan and bring it to a boil.

3. Braise the shanks in the oven until the meat is very tender and falling from the bone, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir from time to time, gently turning the slices, and if the pan seems dry, add more stock. At the end of cooking, taste and adjust seasoning of the sauce. Osso buco can be cooked ahead and stored up to 3 days in the refrigerator, or frozen. Keep it in the pan ready to be reheated on top of the stove.


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