Thanksgiving is all about family!
In today’s world, when everyone has their own agendas and schedules, we don’t often get to sit down together to enjoy a good meal. Too often, our meals are just meals to satisfy our hunger. But on holidays we come together for the meal with those we care most about → and that is everything!
At Black Barn we have a special Thanksgiving menu that we’re very excited about → that you can view here. Allow us to take care of you and your family — it’s what we love to do! But should you decide to make it at home, let us show you how to get the recipe just right.
Below you’ll find how to prep your turkey, the appropriate cook times for different sizes, instruction and serving guides as well as mastering the perfect gravy to accompany your turkey!
How to choose your turkey?
You want to estimate one pound per person or a pound and a half if you want leftovers. We always want to go with a fresh turkey not frozen — which means plan ahead and order from your butcher or grocery store.
Tip: Place your order a week or two in advance if you can.
Here’s the great part about this recipe — you prep the day before so the day of the holiday you’re not compromising your time. Since you want to be able to focus on friends and family. So ask yourself → don’t you want to get done ahead of time without sacrificing quality or quality time? Chef Doherty suggests you take these steps Wednesday night before the big day!
What you’ll need to prep and season your turkey:
(serves 16 people)
• ½ stick soft butter
• 4-5 sprigs of Thyme, stripped and chopped
• 3 Tbsp flat parsley, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• zest of 1 lemon
• ¾ cup pitted Calamata Olives, chopped
• salt and pepper
Your 7 step instruction guide:
1. Remove fresh turkey from any packaging and snip free of any string or trussing.
2. Remove neck and giblets from the body cavity, reserving for gravy.
3. Rinse turkey well under cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
4. With a sharp knife, remove the wing tips (up to the first joint) and add those to the neck, too.
5. Slide hand under skin and separate it from the breast meat without tearing it.
6. Mix butter, herbs, lemon, olives, salt & pepper and spread all over turkey under the skin
7. Season outer skin with remaining butter, salt and pepper
How-to cook your Turkey↓
But first … this is what you’ll need:
• turkey neck, wing-tips & giblets
• 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorn
• 1 bay leaf
• 5 sprigs of fresh Thyme
• 1 stick of celery, well washed
• 2 medium carrots, peeled and halved
• 1 large onion, halved and unpeeled
• 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
This is how you’ll cook your Turkey:
1. Place the above ingredients evenly in the bottom of a roast pan
2. Place turkey on top and place in the center of oven uncovered
3. After 1 ½ hours, use a ladle to remove and reserve the liquid in the bottom of pan. Continue cooking turkey
4. Using an oven thermometer, remove turkey from oven when temperature in the thigh reads 155 degrees
5. Transfer turkey to a platter to rest. The temperature will continue to rise to 165 degrees
Let’s talk gravy: This will take up to 20 minutes. The flavor is driven by the pan drippings and caramelized veggies in the roasting pan. So this is what you’ll need to do ↓
What you’ll need:
• 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
• 2 Tbsp. corn starch
1. Drain all liquid from roast pan and add to reserved liquid. Ladle and discard fat from the top of liquid
2. Over medium-high heat, place roast pan with vegetables and brown vegetables until golden brown, scraping the bottom of the pan
3. Add broth and simmer for 15 minutes
4. Dissolve cornstarch in just a ¼ cup of cold water and stir into simmering broth until the desired consistency is achieved. Let it simmer for 5 minutes longer over low heat
5. Adjust seasoning and strain into a serving bowl
To serve your turkey:
Use a carving knife to cut down between the thigh and breast. Remove the thighs and legs. Then slice the meat off of the bones on a carving board. Remove the breasts by cutting down the middle following the breast bone right down to the wing bone, while pulling the meat gently away with a fork. Slice meat on a carving board. Serve with gravy.
These are the approximate roasting times using this method:
• 5 lbs – 1 – 1/2 hrs
• 8 lbs – 1- 3/4 hrs
• 10 lbs – 2 hrs
• 12 lbs – 2 – 1/2 hrs
• 15 1bs – 2 – 3/4 hours
• 17 lbs – 3 hours
• 20 lbs – 3 – 1/2 hours
Tip: Loosely cover the turkey with aluminum foil if it looks like the top is browning too quickly. I also have to rotate the pan 180° every hour or so for even browning.
Note: In addition, the pop-up thermometer that comes with many turkeys will pop up at 180 degrees, which is quite overcooked and dry. Therefore, the key to a delicious turkey is NOT overcooking it.
Remember, oven temperatures can vary drastically, so even if the turkey has been in the oven for the appropriate time, it is still necessary to double-check for doneness with a thermometer.
There is plenty to stress over but with Chef Doherty’s how-to recipe, you won’t be stressing the main attraction, your Thanksgiving turkey! In conclusion, Gobble Gobble.