Who says roasted turkey has to be limited to Thanksgiving? Seems pretty ridiculous to me...
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...plus, I got a roasting panfor Christmas and really wanted to put it to use.
There are as many recipes and techniques on the internets for roasting turkey as there are TV commercials and magazine ads for chronic plaque psoriasis medication, but I weeded through the dross and found what I thought made the most sense and had the most potential to result in a juicy-fleshed, crispy-skinned turkey breast.
First of all, you have to apply some fat to the bird, and said bird MUST be dry. You can use olive oil if that's your preference, but I love me some butter for applications like this. Making a paste of the butter and your seasonings makes the skin more evenly greased up and flavored, and patting the bird dry before you attempt to slather the paste onto the skin makes it adhere better and more easily.
Secondly, by cranking up the temperature in the oven initially, the skin will begin to get crisp even as the temperature lowers so the inner meat can cook properly.
I added chicken broth to the veggies in the bottom of the pan to give them a boost in their cooking process. I've found that dry roasting hard veggies like celery and carrots takes forever and a day, especially in my oven, so adding some liquid speeds things along.
The turkey is done when it reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast meat, but since the temperature will continue to climb even after the turkey is out of the oven, I like to pull mine out at 155 degrees F. It's important to rest the turkey for at least 15 minutes before slicing, as this gives the juices time to redistribute and the turkey time to firm up. When all is said and done, you'll have some very moist turkey breast meat and some very crispy, very flavorful skin on which to munch.
Since (according to my fiance) you apparently can't and shouldn't have a roasted turkey without dressing and cranberry sauce, I complied. It was a tasty and impressive spread, if I do say so myself.
♪ Turkey Roasted in Shoddy Oven ♫ (♫...Marleau nipping at your heels...♪)
- 1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 to 7 pounds
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, thickly sliced
Transfer the turkey breast to the rack inside a roasting pan, or place on top of the chopped vegetables in another baking dish. Pour the broth into the bottom of the pan and let the breast warm on the counter while the oven heats.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
In a small bowl, combine the mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, soft butter, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Pat the skin of the turkey breast dry with a paper towel and spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin.
Place the turkey in the oven and immediately lower the heat to 350 degrees F. Roast for 2 hours, then begin checking the temperature.
When the innermost part of the breast reaches 155 degrees F, remove the pan from the oven.
When cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and cover it loosely with foil. Rest the turkey for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.