Other Side is, however, ready to be bigger than its critics, and in the spirit of giving that should overwhelm us in this season, herewith offers up a colossally good recipe for a real turkey with all the trimmings. It traces its lineage back to the Bon Appetit issue dated November 1994.
Fair warning is hereby issued. Generally known as "Apricot Turkey," for reasons that will be obvious as you read the recipe, it has been called "African Turkey" by some who simply couldn't believe the words apricot and turkey could make sense together.
Well, they sure as hell do belong together, as you will find out when you make this recipe. Be prepared for this to become your most requested and standard approach to turkey from here on out. It is THAT good.
The gravy in particular takes flavor to notches unknown, and if you don't yet own a "boat motor" (immersion blender), go out and spend the $30 or so it takes to get one. It is well worth it, for this meal alone.
Here you go....and all at no charge!
APRICOT-GLAZED TURKEY WITH ROASTED ONION AND SHALLOT GRAVY
1 cup apricot nectar
1 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey
For Glaze: Combine all ingredients in heavy small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened and reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
For Herb Butter: Blend all ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 large onions (about 2 pounds), thinly sliced
6 ounces shallots (about 6 large), thinly sliced
For Onion Mixture: Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and shallots and sauté until very soft and light brown, about 20 minutes.
(Glaze, herb butter and onion mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill. Bring herb butter to room temperature before continuing.)
1 21- to 22-pound turkey
1 14 1/2-ounce can (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 14 1/2-ounce can (about) low-salt chicken broth
• Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 400° F. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Season turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Slide hand under skin of turkey breast to loosen skin. Spread half of herb butter over breast under skin. If stuffing turkey, spoon stuffing into main cavity. Place remaining herb butter in small saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted. Brush butter over outside of turkey. Tie legs together loosely to hold shape of turkey.
• Roast turkey 30 minutes.
• Reduce oven temperature to 325° F. Roast turkey 1 hour 30 minutes, basting occasionally with pan drippings.
• Tent turkey with heavy-duty foil; roast 45 minutes longer.
• Add onion mixture, 1 can broth, thyme and sage to pan. Roast 15 minutes.
• Bring glaze to simmer. Brush 1/2 cup glaze over turkey. Continue to roast turkey uncovered until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180° F. or until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with skewer, brushing occasionally with glaze and adding more broth to pan if liquid evaporates, about 40 minutes longer for unstuffed turkey (about 1 hour 10 minutes longer for stuffed turkey). Place turkey on platter, tent with foil.
• Let stand 30 minutes. Reserve mixture in pan for gravy.
For Gravy: Pour contents of roasting pan into strainer set over large bowl. Spoon fat from pan juices in bowl. Transfer onion mixture in strainer to blender. Add 1 cup pan juices to blender and puree until smooth, adding more pan juices and chicken broth if necessary to thin sauce to desired consistency. (This is where an immersion blender saves the day...you'll love it!)
Transfer sauce to heavy large saucepan and bring to boil. Cook until color deepens, skimming off any foam, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Be prepared to faint when you taste the gravy....
Serve turkey with gravy.
NEW ENGLAND SAUSAGE, APPLE AND DRIED CRANBERRY STUFFING
This impressive stuffing gets its Yankee accent from apples and dried cranberries.
14 ounces white bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
6 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 3 large leeks)
1 pound tart green apples, peeled, cored, chopped
2 cups chopped celery with leaves
4 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 cup dried cranberries (about 4 ounces)
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/3 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide bread cubes between 2 large baking sheets. Bake until slightly dry, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.
Sauté sausages in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling coarsely with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl. Pour off any drippings from skillet.
Melt butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, apples, celery and poultry seasoning to skillet; sauté until leeks soften, about 8 minutes. Mix in dried cranberries and rosemary.
Add mixture to sausage, then mix in bread and parsley. Season stuffing to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Mix eggs into stuffing.
To bake stuffing in turkey: Fill main turkey cavity with stuffing. Mix enough chicken broth into remaining stuffing to moisten (about 3/4 to 1 cup chicken broth, depending on amount of remaining stuffing). Spoon remaining stuffing into buttered baking dish. Cover with buttered aluminum foil. Bake stuffing in dish alongside turkey until heated through, about 45 minutes. Uncover stuffing and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Note: Side bakes it all in a pan to develop a nice browned and crisp character.
To bake all stuffing in pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 15x10x2-inch baking dish. Mix 1 1/3 cups broth into stuffing. Transfer to prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil and bake until heated through, about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes.