Simple Roast Turkey, Shiitake Gravy
Ming Tsai makes his turkey simple but moist, then adds flavor with his mushroom-based gravy.
Simple Roast Turkey
Ingredients: 1 15 pound turkey, brined overnight in sweet sea water* Canola oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Pre-heat oven and roasting pan with rack to 550 degrees, with fan on, if possible. Rinse turkey, inside and out, under cold running water. Pat dry and season lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rub the bird all over with oil. Using oven mitts, remove roasting pan from oven and place turkey on rack. Roast until well-colored, about 20 minutes. When turkey is nicely colored, tent with foil and reduce heat to 325 degrees. Continue roasting until turkey is cooked through, about 3-3.5 hours, and temperature taken at thickest part of thigh is 155-160 degrees (carry-over cooking will bring it another 5-10 degrees, and it will be perfectly done). Another trick I use is to put the tip of a paring knife into the thigh for a couple seconds and then touch it to my upper lip—if the tip of the knife is hot, your bird is done. But definitely, the most sure-fire way to know is to check the temperature. Remove the turkey to a cutting board with a trough to catch any drippings and let it rest for about 20 minutes. Then, you can either present it to the table whole or carve it before serving.
“I would never roast a turkey without brining it first—you get the moistest, most flavorful bird ever.”
Brine: 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 quart water. Multiply this as many times as necessary to fully submerge the turkey. Taste the water before adding the turkey—it should taste like sweet seawater. You will most likely need to do this in a cooler, since most fridges don't have the room for a brining turkey. In warmer climates, add nontoxic gel packs to the water. In colder climates, just put your cooler in the garage!
*Note: A brined turkey will cook 15 percent faster than an unbrined turkey, and the meat will be extremely moist!
Makes about 4 cups Ingredients:2 small onions, minced 1 level tablespoon minced ginger 3 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms 1 cup white wine 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 pint chicken stock, low-sodium preferred 1 tablespoon soy sauce Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Place your roasting pan that you've just cooked your turkey in over medium-high heat and add onion, ginger, and shiitakes. Season and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Deglaze with white wine, scraping up the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow wine to reduce completely. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine cornstarch with 1 tablespoon chicken stock to form a slurry and set aside. Add remaining chicken stock and soy sauce and bring to a boil. While boiling, whisk in cornstarch slurry. Allow to simmer for 10 seconds to ensure cornstarch cooks. Check for flavor, season if necessary, and serve with turkey.
copyright 2008 Ming Tsai