Houston Matters

Don’t Ruin Your Turkey: Thanksgiving Meal Advice from the Pros

In case you haven’t been paying attention-surprise! – Thanksgiving is on Thursday. Many of you have already flooded the grocery stores and started prepping for your Thanksgiving meal, which may include anything from sweet potato casserole to pumpkin pie. But, let’s face it: The turkey is the real star of the show. And unless you […]

In case you haven’t been paying attention-surprise! – Thanksgiving is on Thursday. Many of you have already flooded the grocery stores and started prepping for your Thanksgiving meal, which may include anything from sweet potato casserole to pumpkin pie. But, let’s face it: The turkey is the real star of the show. And unless you cook turkeys all year long or have a time-honored recipe passed down for generations, there’s a good chance you’re really just winging it (pun not intended). We’ll get turkey prep advice from some masters: Chef Rey, Executive Team Chef for the Houston Astros and Ronnie Killen, Executive Chef of Killen’s Steakhouse.

 Chef Rey’s Traditional Roasted Turkey

Ingredients:

1 Turkey (12-15lbs.)

1 Cup of Clarified Butter

1 Whole Lemon (cut in half and squeeze juice)

4 Cloves of Garlic Chopped

1 Top and Bottom of Celery Chopped

½ cup of chopped carrots

½ Cup of Chopped Yellow Onions

½ Cup of Chopped Tri-Color Bell Peppers (Green, Red and Yellow)

½ Cup of Chopped Shallots

4each Sprigs of Fresh Thyme and Rosemary Chopped

6 Whole Peppercorns

2 Cups of Chicken Stock

 

Hardware:

1 large Roasting Pan, 1 roasting rack, Aluminum Foil and Basting Brush

 

Directions:

Pre-Heat oven to 375 degrees F

  1. Thaw Turkey in Bottom of Refrigerator in Roasting pan  allow 2-3 days
  2. Open Turkey and remove neck, liver, heart and gizzards
  3. Thoroughly wash with vinegar and rinse well and dry
  4. Allow Turkey to come to Room Temperature  when ready to Roast
  5. Open cavity of Turkey and brush lemon juice on the inside of cavity walls
  6. In large bowl add all chopped vegetable along with shallots and garlic and toss with some of the clarified butter
  7. Take mixture and fill Turkey Cavity the remaining balance place around turkey along with the Thyme and Rosemary in roasting pan
  8. Brush outside of Turkey with clarified butter
  9. Place turkey on roasting rack Breast side Down and cover with Aluminum Foil
  10.  Roast Turkey for 1hour on 375 degrees, then remove foil, turn breast side up and reduce heat to 225 for the (1-1/2)hour and half to (2)two hours of cooking time. Continue to Basting Turkey during this roasting cooking Time. USING A meat Thermometer insert into dark meat being leg or thigh portion and verify Temperature is holding at 170. Note Turkey will continue to cook once you remove from oven. Note: Do not over Roast Turkey.

Special Notes:

This Recipe will also work for Fryers (Whole Chicken), Cornish Hens; however, cooking times will vary.

For Cajun Flare add Cayenne Pepper or your special Cajun Seasoning to Clarified butter and vegetable mix for Turkey cavity filling.

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