Saturday, February 28, 2009

Turkey and maple syrup...what a combination!

I know there are so many recipes out there for turkey but being a stickler for sticking to something that is tried and true, I've always had a hard time deviating from the recipe that I've always used. Although I was so glad to come across this recipe in an email I had received. I had never tried basting a turkey with maple syrup but being Canadian, I knew I had to try it... This recipe was a hit at our family gathering and perhaps our new family favorite...

Maple-Roasted Turkey with Smoked Bacon and Stuffing

Cook Time: 4 hr 30 min

4 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
½ chourico, diced
3 packages of stuffing (2 packages of seasoning)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 (12 to 14 pound) PC Real Butter basted turkey
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup hot water
8 strips smoked bacon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 lemon, juiced

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and remove the top rack.

In a saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons butter, add the onions and chourico, cook and stir for 15 minutes until soft and golden. Remove from heat. Put the cornbread in a large mixing bowl and scrape the sauteed onion mixture on top. Add the packages of seasoning, egg, heavy cream, and just enough chicken stock to moisten the stuffing without making it soggy (about 1/2 cup.) Toss well to combine.

Remove the neck and gizzards from the inside of the turkey and discard. Rinse the with cold water, pat dry. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Fill the bird with the stuffing without packing too tightly; cook the remaining stuffing separately in a buttered baking dish. Truss the turkey; place it on a rack in a large roasting pan with remaining chicken stock and wine, and put into the oven.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and hot water to thin the glaze out a bit; use this to baste the turkey every 30 minutes (starting at the 1 hour mark). The turkey should take about 4 ½ hours to cook. If the legs or breast brown too quickly, cover with foil.

About 2 hours into cooking, shingle the strips of bacon oven the turkey breast to cover; continue to roast and baste. The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F (the thigh juices will also run clear when pricked with a knife.) Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving, so the juices can settle back into the meat.

Skim off the excess fat from the pan drippings with a spoon and place the roasting pan over 2 burners set on medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up brown bits stuck to bottom of pan. Whisk the flour into the drippings, stirring as it thickens to prevent lumps. Add the remaining chicken stock and bring to a simmer; season with salt and pepper and hit it with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavor. Simmer for 5 minutes and then strain to remove any particles.


Note: Please be careful as the turkey may look ready visually because of all of the sugar in the baste the skin darkens very quickly but that is not a direct reflection on whether the turkey is cooked on the inside. In this case, a thermometer reading is imperative!

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