That's one very sexy leg you've got there!!! Smooth and golden brown, slightly salty and ready to be bitten! There is nothing like the perfectly cooked turkey leg!
I've been cooking my turkey with cheese cloth and dowsed with wine and butter for many years. Thanks to Martha Stewart and her genius cooking techniques I haven't had an ugly or over cooked bird yet!
The smells of turkey baking away in the oven and lingering hint of freshly baked pumpkin pie and I go weak at the knees. I can't wait until the turkey is carved to get a hunk of that golden browned skin...slurp! Thanksgiving may be over but the memory of a tender and juicy turkey stills lingers on.
Cheese Cloth Turkey Perfection:
Adapted from Martha Stewart's perfectly cooked turkey recipe
The perfect turkey begins at your local market or turkey farm. Purchasing a fresh, young turkey will result in a tender, tastier bird. Big frozen birds are known to have added growth hormones and chemical enhancers to make the turkey look and taste better. I tend to shy away form this variety. Older birds can also be more tough and dry, but if you must impress your guests with a gigantic bird try to find one that's just been butchered for a fresher tasting turkey. In lieu of a gigantic bird another option is to roast two 10-16 pound fresh birds.
This year I cooked a fresh Redbird turkey and I can guarantee that it was well worth the money.
1 16 pound fresh Turkey
1 sticks of butter melted
1 cup good white wine
juice from 1 orange
2 packages cheese cloth
1 onion quartered
4 celery stalks cut in half
1 large orange
1 large bunch fresh parsley
5 whole cloves garlic
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
In a large glass bowl melt butter and add wine and juice of 1 orange, fold cheese cloths into quarters, submerge cheese cloths in butter mixture, set aside
Remove turkey from packaging, remove giblets and neck from cavity and set aside for use in gravy, wash turkey with cold water and pat dry. Salt and pepper cavity and body of bird, place bird in a large roasting pan and stuff both the neck and body cavities with onion, celery, garlic, parsley, and orange peels, pull the excess skin from the neck cavity over the stuffing and tuck wing tips under the bird. Be sure to wash your hands and all surfaces after working with poultry.
Remove cheese cloth from bowl and squeeze excess liquid back into the bowl, place cheese cloth on the bird covering the entire body, total layers of cheese cloth should be 8 layers thick, using a turkey baster, baste turkey with about 1/2 cup liquid and place in a preheated oven, cook bird for 45 minutes then lower the heat to 350, baste turkey then set timer to baste turkey every 30-45 minutes, cook bird until meat thermometer reads 165-170 degrees, remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil and rest for 30 minutes before carving. Use the drippings to make a delicious gravy.
Results...the perfectly cooked, juicy & browned bird
To accompany the feast...
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 orange zested
juice from 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1&1/2 cups sugar
in a medium sauce pan, bring all the ingredients to a boil then lower heat to medium low, cook until mixture is thick, stirring frequently, refrigerate for 2 hours before serving or make a day ahead.
Christmas is on it's way and if you haven't made the perfect bird yet...this is a must try recipe!