Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love cooking up a wonderful meal and spending three days doing it. I've had the privilege of cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the past 13 years, first for my husband and some of the single soldiers from his unit when we were stationed in Germany and now for my family here in the States. Here is the main attraction, the turkey.
Mustard-Rubbed Roast Turkey With Mushroom Gravy
adapted from Bon Appetit's Nov. 1999 issue
With this recipe, start out with a pastured, organic turkey. We purchased ours from our farm co-op.
For the turkey:
1 cup Dijon mustard
3/4 cup organic butter
2 tbs freshly grated lemon peel
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh organic flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbs fresh organic thyme, chopped
1 tbs fresh organic sage, chopped
1 15-16 pound organic, pastured turkey
2 cups chicken stock
One to two days prior to Thanksgiving, coarsely puree first 7 ingredients in a food processor or blender. I used my BlendTec. Reserve 1/2 cup mustard mixture in a bowl; cover and chill.
Remove giblets and reserve. Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Slide hand under skin of turkey breast, legs, and thighs to loosen skin. You may need to cut small slits into the skin to do this. Using you hand, spread 1 cup of the mixture under the skin over the breast, legs, and thighs. Spread remaining mixture inside the main cavity. Place turkey into the roasting pan and slide pan into a plastic trash bag. Close the bag and place into the refrigerator for at least one day and up to two days.
On Thanksgiving, position rack in botton third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Remove the pan from the bag and spread remaining mustard mixture all over the turkey. Tuck the wing tips under and tie legs loosely together with kitchen twine. Roast for 2 hours. Baste with 1/2 cups chicken stock. Continue to roast (about 15 minutes per pound) until turkey is brown and thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees, basting frequently with remaining 1 1/2 cups stock and pan juices. Cover with roasting pan lid or loosely tent with foil if browning too quickly. Remove from oven and let sit, loosely covered for 30 minutes.
1 pound white and baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 1/4 cups chicken or turkey stock
1/2 cup organic whipping cream
2 tbs organic cornstarch
Pour pan juices into large measuring cup. Spoon off fat, reserving 2 tbs. Heat 2 tbs turkey fat in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and saute until soft and tender, about 15 minutes. Add enough broth to pan juices to measure 3 1/2 cups. Add to mushrooms along with cream. Boil 8 minutes to blend flavors. Mix cornstarch with 1/4 chicken stock in a small bowl and mix into gravy. Continue to boil until gravy thickens, about 1 minute. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve over turkey.