Monday, November 12, 2012

one hundred and twenty-five

Dear Internet,

I couldn't think of a blog post today because PSE&G keeps messing with my head with its random outages.  Since I'm not a total bum, I figured a recipe might be a good compromise.  Just for good measure, I'll even make it seasonal and Thanksgiving-y.  So, here's my recipe for beer brined bone-in turkey breast, complete with a punny title.


Baysted Bone-In Turkey Breast with Pan Gravy

Start with:
6-8 lb. bone-in turkey breast, thawed if frozen

Brine overnight in:
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1-12 oz. bottle ale (I used Magic Hat HIPA)
water to cover

When you're ready to roast, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse thoroughly inside and out.  Pat dry.

Place the turkey breast side down on a large cutting board.  Using kitchen shears, cut along either side of the spine (your shears will cut through the ribs) until you encounter resistance.  Place one palm flat on the very top of the spine.  Using your free hand, grab the wing (or what's left of it, if your breast came wingless) and bend it towards the spine.  You know, like you're trying to break its shoulder, because that's precisely what you're attempting to do. 

Repeat the process on the other shoulder, then use your shears to finish removing the spine by cutting through the space between the shoulder and arm.  Don't throw away the spine or any scraps (except for the white tube-looking spinal cord because yuck).

Allow the turkey to rest at room temperature while you make...

Lazy Turkey Stock:
32 oz. homemade or store bought chicken stock
scraps from turkey

Combine stock and scraps in a medium pot.  Simmer covered over medium heat for 45 minutes, or until it smells sufficiently turkey-y.  

Meanwhile, start on...

Bay Butter:
8 Turkish bay leaves
12 tbsp salted butter

In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Stir in the bay leaves, then infuse over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until fragrant.  Fish out the bay leaves and set them aside.

While the butter is infusing, gather...

The Rest of the Stuff:
1 onion, cut into eighths
2 ribs celery, cut into thirds
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375.

Once the butter and broth are done, place the turkey breast-up on a roasting pan.  Slide your hand under the skin to disconnect it from the meat.  Slightly lift the breast off of the pan and slide the onion, celery, and bay leaves (from the Bay Butter) into the hollow space under the rib cage.  Gently rest the turkey on top of the veggies, making sure nothing's poking out.

Coat the turkey with the bay butter, then sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika.  Place the turkey in the preheated oven and roast at 375 for 30 minutes.

Carefully pour two cups of the broth into the bottom of the roasting pan.  Baste the turkey with the juices and broth from the bottom of the pan.  Reduce the heat to 325 and roast an additional 1 1/2 hours, basting again at the one hour mark, and one last time at the one hour-thirty minute mark.  If the pan begins to dry out or the drippings begin to burn, add extra broth one cup at a time.

Remove from the oven once the temperature in the thickest part of the breast measures 165.  Allow to rest on the counter 20 minutes before carving.  Meanwhile, remove the veggies and bay leaves from the roasting pan and start on...
Pan Gravy:
pan drippings from roasted turkey (above)
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
1 cup turkey broth
chicken stock, as needed
salt and pepper, to taste

In a small pot, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour to create a roux, cooking for about one minute or until it smells nutty.

Whisk in the pan drippings and turkey broth, adding chicken stock 1/4 cup at a time until the gravy reaches your desired consistency.  Check seasoning, then...


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