I've always been super skittish about cooking large hunks of meat or whole birds. In my mind, these were super complicated and super mysterious procedures that only one person (my mom) was able to execute. This year I've been working at conquering that particular aversion, because there is actually nothing I like more than a huge, cheap hunk of slow roasted meat. I started with an entire pork leg (more on that someday) and my next mission was a whole turkey. My mom found it on sale and gave it to me as a gift - or, perhaps, a hint that I should learn to roast a turkey. I was shocked at how simple this was to put together; I did this on a Sunday and had time to do all the stuff that makes for a perfect Sunday - gym, laundry, shopping, napping - while the turkey took care of him(or her)self. Everyone pitched in on the rest of the meal and we had sides of Brussels sprouts in bacon, salad, and some roast squash plus a wonderful dessert of chocolate macaroons and vanilla iced coconut-cream.
I prepped the turkey the day of, but you could easily make the butter and prep your bird the day before. I've got to say, too, that the leftovers we had from a turkey, even after feeding six people (two children), were impressive. I froze the meat in batches, and there was more than enough for stews and soups to take to work for a few weeks and bones to make two big batches of broth. Making this was a really wonderful gift to myself, as it made the following weeks so easy!
Rosemary raisin coconut oil for buttery roast turkey
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves only
- 1 T freshly ground black pepper
- 1 T sea salt
- 1 small orange, zest only
- Optional: 250 g pork belly and 1 T cumin, or 250 g (half a package) of bacon
- Blitz all ingredients in the food processor until finely chopped
- Using a spoon and your hands, separate the turkey breasts from the skin following Jamie's instructions (I always thought this would be very difficult - it was not!)
- Using a spoon, scoop a generous amount of the rosemary raisin oil. Slide the spoon between the skin and the meat, and with your hand on the outside of the turkey, nudge the oil off of the spoon and squidgy it around as best you can to lumpily cover the area (the coconut oil will harden as it comes in contact with the cold poultry, so work fast; PS - this is also so much easier than I thought it would be!); repeat until you've packed all the oil in there.
- Fill the turkey carcass with onions, orange quarters (including the zested orange, quartered), carrots, and the rosemary sprigs; skewer the cavity closed with metal kebab skewers; place the turkey on extra big hunks of carrots and onions (Jamie calls this a "vegetable trivet").
- Preheat your oven as high as it will go, put the turkey in a roasting tray and cover him with tinfoil, put it in and turn the oven to 350ºF. Cook the turkey for 35-40 minutes per kilogram; at 3.5 hours take the tinfoil off. Don't worry about basting the turkey like Jamie says; that is a fair bit more effort, and according my fave podcast, America's Test Kitchen, this is actually counterproductive to nice n' crispy skin. After you take the turkey out of the oven, put the tinfoil back on and let it rest for half an hour before cutting into it! Serve with the pan juices and veggies on the side, or puree the veggie trivet into the pan juice for a thick, flour-free gravy! (turkey prep and roasting mostly ala Jamie's instructions).
NOTE: I bet you could quarter the butter recipe and use it for roasting a whole chicken.