Herbs under and over the skin of your turkey impart the most delicious flavor and amazing aroma. Adding maple syrup to the turkey’s natural fat for basting puts it in a whole other category. The skin gets crisp and very brown from the caramelizing of the maple syrup. It is crackling and scrumptious. You can use fresh herbs, or pick up new bottles of dried ones. New bottles are best for your Thanksgiving turkey because the color of the herbs will be brighter and the flavor and aroma more pronounced.
Note: After you’ve carved your turkey, don’t throw away the frame. Use it to make turkey soup.
Prep time: 30 minutes
- 10-12 pound turkey cleaned
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or softened parve margarine
- 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves plus 2 whole branches
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage plus 2 whole sprigs
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves plus three sprigs
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup kosher brandy optional- you can substitute with orange juice
- 1/2 cup flour
- 6 cups low salt boxed chicken broth/fresh chicken broth/water
- 1 large roasting pan with rack use 2 pans together if using foil pans
- disposable gloves optional
- 8 inches butcher twine
- 1 baster
- 1 meat thermometer
- 1 strainer
- 1 3 quart saucepan
- Remove as many racks as necessary to make room for turkey in oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix the chopped herbs with five tablespoons of oil. Put on your gloves if using them. Rinse turkey inside and out. Pat dry. Gently, take your hands and spread them under the skin on the turkey breast. Push your hands through the membrane so that you create an empty space for the herbs. Spread half the herb-oil mixture under the skin of the breast. Spread the rest of the herbs over the outside of the turkey including the wings and legs. Take all the herb branches and insert them in the turkey cavity. Tie the legs together with butcher twine. Place turkey in the oven. Roast for one hour.
- Mix remaining oil with maple syrup and brandy. The brandy adds flavor and also cuts the sweetness of the syrup. If you prefer not to use it, add 1/4 cup of orange juice.. Mix well.
- After turkey has roasted for an hour, begin to baste it with the pan juices and maple syrup mixture. Continue to baste every 20 minutes until maple syrup is used up. The skin of the turkey will begin to darken considerably due to the maple syrup. If you prefer it less dark, you can tent the turkey with foil. The turkey should take about 3 1/2 hours to roast. The breast should register 170°F on a meat thermometer. You should also be able to shake the legs easily. Remove turkey from oven and transfer to a carving board. Let it rest 20 minutes before slicing. Prepare gravy while turkey is resting.
- Heat turkey drippings remaining in roasting pan. Add flour all at once . Stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until drippings have thickened and flour is cooked. Slowly, Pour in the chicken broth or water while stirring constantly. When gravy is done, pour it through a strainer into the saucepan. If you have time, put the saucepan in the freezer for 30 minutes and then remove the fat that has begun to congeal. If you are serving it immediately, pour off the fat which will come to the top . Serve gravy hot.
Recipe and Photo courtesy of Gloria Kobrin of Kosher By Gloria