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Brown Turkey Stock and Gravy
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Yield: about 3 cups.
|You can make your turkey gravy base way ahead of time, which will save you that much fussing at the last minute. This is a strong white wine turkey stock thickened at the end with cornstarch. When the turkey is done and the roaster degreased, blend the gravy base into the roasting juices. turkey giblets (neck, heart, gizzard?save the liver and either add to your stuffing or keep it for another purpose)|
|4 tablespoons||cooking oil|
|2 cups||onions, chopped, (remove half after sautéing, and save for flavoring turkey cavity later)|
|2 cups||carrots, chopped, (remove half after sautéing, and save for flavoring turkey cavity later)|
|1 cup||dry white wine or _cup dry white French Vermouth|
|2 cups||chicken stock or canned broth|
|Water as needed|
|½ teaspoon||thyme or sage|
|¼ cup||port wine or cold chicken broth|
|Chop neck into 2-inch pieces, quarter gizzard, and halve the heart. Dry in paper towels. Heat oil in a heavy 2½- to 3-quart saucepan, stir in the giblets, and brown them rapidly on all sides, regulating heat so oil is not burning. Remove giblets, and stir the vegetables into the pan; cover and cook slowly 5 to 8 minutes until tender. Then uncover, raise heat, and brown lightly for several minutes. Remove half the vegetables and reserve for flavoring turkey cavity later. Return giblets to pan, add the wine, stock, and enough water to cover ingredients by an inch. Salt lightly, add herbs, and simmer partially covered for 2½ to 3 hours; strain, degrease, and return stock to pan. You should have about 3 cups. In a small bowl blend cornstarch and port wine or chicken broth. Beat in the cornstarch mixture, simmer 2 to 3 minutes, and correct seasoning. Liquid will be lightly thickened. When cool, cover and refrigerate until turkey is done. Directions for using the gravy base are in the last paragraph of the following roasting recipe. Makes about 3 cups. TURKEY TIMING It takes a 25-pound roast turkey 2½ hours to cool down from oven temperature to 120 degrees on a meat thermometer. Thus you are much better off estimating on the longer rather than the shorter side of any timetable, since it is awful if the turkey isn't done on time, and it's not only embarrassing but also possibly dangerous to serve an underdone turkey. Don't be taken in by theories that you can partially cook a turkey in the evening, finish it off in the morning, or that it will cook properly in a 225 degrees oven all night and all morning, and be done by lunchtime. These two suggestions are definitely dangerous, since both partial precooking and very low temperature cooking can allow bacteria to develop n the bird?because the heat does not reach the interior for hours?and then goodbye happy holidays. Turkey timetables vary enormously, and every one I have seen gives different times. I suppose a good reason for variants is that turkeys do come in different shapes, from average mesomorph to the extreme pectoral endomorphy of some modern birds; a chunky, chesty turkey with its thicker meat layer will take longer to cook than a more elongated type. I have used the following timings with success, and I do think every cook should keep notes on his or her own experience. That is the way to develop not only confidence but also your own special way of doing things. Roasting timetable: for unstuffed moderately ? turkeys Pounds Hours roasting Buffer Rest before Estimated at 325 degrees carving safe total|
|6 to 8 lbs.||2¾, 3½ hrs. 20 min. 20 min. 4¼ hrs.|
|8 to 12 lbs.||3¼, 4 hrs 20 min. 20 min. 4½-4¾ hrs.|
|12 to 16 lbs||3½, 4½ hrs 30 min. 30 min. 5½ hrs|
|16 to 20 lbs.||4, 6 hrs 30 min. 30 min. 5½-7 hrs.|
|20 to 26 lbs.||5½, 7½ hrs 30 min. 30 min. 7-8½ hrs.|
TURKEY IS DONE WHEN: Meat thermometer in thickest portion of thigh, next to body, reads 180 to 185 degrees; the legs can be wiggled in their sockets; the thickest portion of the drumsticks feels tender when pressed. There will be a cup or more brown turkey juices in the pan; if there is no juice, but only fat, the turkey is definitely not done.
STUFFING: Allow ½ to ¾ cup?or less if you wish?of stuffing per pound of turkey, but it is impossible to be accurate in estimates because a heavy, chesty bird sometimes has less room inside. The cavity does not need to be filled completely, and certainly must not be packed tight, since stuffing tends to swell during cooking. Add 20 to 30 minutes additional roasting time to the preceding estimates for turkeys up to 12 pounds. Over that weight, the stuffing does not affect the over-all timing unless it is a very compact sausage type of mixture.
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