Since it is so close to the holiday and I procrastinated in getting this blog post up, I'm going to assume that if you're reading this you procrastinated getting a meal together. So, in the spirit of procrastination, here's a relatively quick and simple recipe to impress your friends and family with. I've actually made this myself for a friends-giving before and I managed it just fine, so if I can do it so can you! Full credit to the BBC's Good Food for this one. I discovered it during a Dr. Who marathon viewing because that's what you do with your nerdy dad during thanksgiving.
I highly recommend pairing this meal with the Senses Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Pinot goes great with turkey because turkey is a lean meat and Pinot will not overpower it. Thanksgiving turkeys, on the other hand, tend to be pretty rich and our Sonoma Coast Pinot specifically has a lot of depth and concentration that will balance it out perfectly.
Roast Turkey with Red Wine Baste:
- 1 large yellow onion
- Fresh bay leaves
- 10-12 pound turkey
- 1 package of your favorite stuffing or your own recipe (half to stuff turkey half to serve alongside)
- 1 stick of butter
- 10 strips of bacon
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 1 glass of red wine (a heavier red like merlot is best. Don't use Senses Pinot! It's for drinking!)
1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 F and place the large, quartered, onion and a large sprig of bay leaves in the cavity between the legs (I call this the turkey-butt). Pack half of your stuffing into the neck and pin the neck skin in place. After it is fully stuffed weigh the turkey and calculate your cooking time at 9 minutes per pound plus another 90 minutes.
2. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil, leaving enough extra on the sides to wrap the turkey with, and place the turkey on it. Smear the butter over the breast and grate half the nutmeg over it. Then place the bacon strips over the breast, pour over the wine and wrap it in the tinfoil to seal all those juices in.
3. Roast in the oven at 375. When you're at the 90 minutes remaining mark remove the bacon and either discard or use it for something else (I added it to my stuffing) and drain any excess fat. Leave the tin foil open now so the turkey will brown and return it to the oven. Baste the turkey with the collecting juices several times over the next hour. At the 30 minutes remaining mark place the remaining stuffing around the turkey to cook.
4. To test whether the turkey is done push a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh, the juices should be clear. If they are pinkish continue to cook for 15 minutes or until the juices run clear. Transfer the turkey to a serving platter, cover with foil and then with a towel and let stand for 30 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to settle back into the meat and make for a pleasantly moist turkey.
5. Open a bottle of Senses Pinot Noir and enjoy with your meal!