Pomegranate Roasted Turkey

Here it is the day before Thanksgiving and I am just now posting a turkey recipe.  With the craziness of the retail world at the moment I’m running way behind, and totally living a lifestyle that screams quick and easy (without fast food) as we plan to entertain friends for the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow.  I know you are thinking I’ve lost my mind with the concept of an easy turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, but seriously, this one is easy-peasy!

And tastes absolutely delicious, too.

I promise.

I’ve made this one multiple times over the last nine years as it was a recipe I found in a magazine (can’t remember which one) and have held onto for many an occasion.  With eight simple ingredients and absolutely no stuffing (unless you want to take the time), grab a roasting pan and let’s get to it!

Pomegranate Roasted Turkey2

INGREDIENTS:

3 sticks unsalted butter
8 c. pomegranate juice
1 c. unsalted chicken broth
1¾ tsp. pink salt (so much healthier than table salt)
1½ tsp. pepper
1 turkey
½ c. fresh sage leaves
2 sprig fresh rosemary leaves

Cheesecloth (I found mine at Fresh Market with the parchment paper & foil)

ROASTING THE BIRD

1. Preheat the oven to 350º.  In a saucepan on the stove, combine 1 cup of pomegranate juice, 1 cup unsalted chicken stock, 1 teaspoon salt & 1 teaspoon pepper, and the 3 sticks of butter together, bring to a boil, and then remove from heat.

Pom Mixture

2. While your pom mixture is heating up, sprinkle a little pink salt & freshly ground black pepper inside the cavity and on the outside of the bird, placing him in a large roasting pan.

Turkey prep

3. Remove your heated pom mixture from the hot eye and let cool just a few minutes.  Fold your cheesecloth so that it will fit the entire bird.  Soak it in the pom mixture so that it is completely saturated.

soaking Cheesecloth

Do not squeeze the juice from the cheesecloth and place it over the top of the turkey.  Make sure the chicken wing tips and everything are covered by the cheesecloth.

Prepped Turkey

4.  Pour the remainder of the pom juice over the turkey and place in the oven.  Baste with the juices every 20-30 minutes, keeping the cheese cloth saturated.  Basting with the cheesecloth helps to keep your bird super moist and the skin from burning!  Roast until the breast of the turkey reaches 165º; up to 5 hours depending on the size of your bird!  Let stand in the pan (continuing to baste if you desire) for about 20 minutes before carving.

Your cheesecloth may appeared burned crispy, but as long as you have kept it basted every 20-30 minutes, your turkey should still have golden skin when the cheesecloth is removed.

Your cheesecloth may appeared burned crispy, but as long as you have kept it basted every 20-30 minutes, your turkey should still have golden skin when the cheesecloth is removed.

5.  This turkey has a thick pomegranate sauce that accompanies it.  You can begin making it when your turkey has about an hour left to cook.  Take the remaining Pomegranate juice, the sage and rosemary and place in a saucepan; bring it to a boil.

Pom Sauce 2

 Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is fairly syrupy; about an hour.  Strain the herbs from the sauce and serve with a ladle at the table.

Pom sauce

6.  After your turkey has rested, carefully remove the cheesecloth from the turkey, being careful not to tear the skin.  Arrange on a platter with pomegranate garnish & carve to serve.

Pom Roasted Turkey

That’s it ladies and gentleman… a super easy turkey recipe for a most moist and flavorful turkey this Thanksgiving Day!

I forgot to photograph the pomegranate sauce that accompanied it, but I can assure you, IT IS FABULOUS!

I forgot to photograph the pomegranate sauce that accompanied it, but I can assure you, IT IS FABULOUS!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from the Jones family!

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Talking Turkey

In just seven days we will gather around the table with our families or friends for a day of giving thanks. 
I truly love Thanksgiving day and all of the little things that accompany it: family gatherings, travel, laughter, love, food, football, cards with friends, and just enjoying the day away from work, school and stress of everyday living.  It has always been a special day to us whether we have traveled hours to see our family, or just stayed at home with our children.  I am just as content with a small intimate dinner as I am with a huge gathering.
There is something so peaceful about Thanksgiving day.  Maybe it’s because it is one day out of the year that the majority of us focus on gratitude.  I know I always feel so much better about life when I count my blessings and say thank you instead of focusing on the negative world in which we live.
For the last nine or so years, no matter where we have enjoyed our Thanksgiving day, the turkey has become my “dish” to prepare.  I know everyone has their traditional way of preparing a turkey, from the deep fryer to ordering one prepared, but I love an old-fashioned roasted turkey.  There are so many ways to roast a turkey that you never have to have the same flavor twice.
I also love to dress the turkey up and bring him to the table as the centerpiece of Thanksgiving dinner.
{It’s a totally dramatic moment for me.}

Here is our favorite roasted turkey ….. 

Ingredients:
20 pound whole turkey
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups Riesling wine
olive oil
1 package cheesecloth
kitchen twine
assorted fresh vegetables, fruit & herbs (chopped): carrots, celery, onion, rosemary sage, parsley,
cranberries & apples
Let’s Cook it!
**Make sure your turkey is completely thawed out before beginning.  If you can, begin thawing in your refrigerator 3-4 days before you actually plan to cook it.
**Clean out the cavity of the bird and set the contents aside (you can use these to make gravy later if you would like).  Rinse the bird in cold water and pat dry.  
**Carefully loosen the skin over the breast of the bird, carefully slipping your hand underneath.  Loosen all the way to the leg and thigh as well.  After you have separated the skin from the turkey meat, slip the butter between the layers and evenly spread it over the breast, leg and thigh.
**Sprinkle your turkey generously with salt and pepper, on the top and bottom.  (If you are prepping ahead of time, you can cover the bird with foil at this point & store in the refrigerator.)
**Using your freshly chopped vegetables and herbs, make a “bed” in the bottom of your roasting pan for your turkey to rest on, saving some of the vegetables, herbs, and fruit to stuff the bird.
**After stuffing the bird with your veggie mixture, bind the bird with twine to help hold it s it cooks.  Rub Olive oil all one rate skin of the bird and place on the bed of veggies.
**Preheat the oven to 350, and prepare a rack in the lower portion of your oven to hold your roasting pan.  I recommend that you use a sturdy pan for your bird as foil pans (while great for easy clean-up) don’t necessarily provide security for the turkey as you are moving it around the kitchen.
Not that I have ever dropped a turkey or anything……. Sigh.
**In a large bowl, combine the wine and chicken broth.  Unfold your cheesecloth, keeping it layered, but leaving a large enough piece to cover your turkey.  Soak the cheesecloth in the wine mixture, to thoroughly wet it.  Carefully remove the cheesecloth from the wine/broth mixture and lay it over the turkey.  Don’t squeeze the cheesecloth.
**Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes per pound.  Baste the turkey every 20 minutes or so with the wine and broth mixture.  Be sure to keep check on the cheesecloth because you don’t want it to dry out and stick to the skin of the turkey.  After about 4 1/2 hours of cooking, carefully remove the cheesecloth and baste the bare turkey with the juices.  Continue to roast until done (the juices will run clear).  The turkey will take on  lovely golden color.  Be sure to baste a couple of times during the last hour of cooking.
**Remove fromt he oven and transfer to a platter to rest before carving.
**Garnish the bird with fresh herbs and cranberries.
There are literally hundreds of turkey recipes that you can find in magazines, books or on-line so venture out this year and make your turkey centerpiece worthy.  

Everyone will be so impressed!


Tell me, how do you like your turkey?

Those Turkey Day Leftovers

Normally I don’t do Thanksgiving leftovers.  
By the time we have celebrated with my side of the family, then celebrated again with Audley’s side of the fam., I am pretty tired of turkey and dressing and ready for an old fashioned grilled hamburger!

But the day after Thanksgiving this year I found myself looking in the refrigerator at the remnants of a really delicious turkey that I had cooked the day before.

Maybe it was because the flavor of the delicious basting juices (white wine and chicken broth seasoned with fresh herbs) for the turkey were preserved in my senses, or perhaps it was because  I didn’t have any ground sirloin for a good hamburger & I didn’t want to drop what I was working on around the house to brave Black Friday traffic, but I gave in and decided to eat the leftover turkey.  

With hubby hanging out in the kitchen anxiously waiting on something to eat, I took two tablespoons of butter, and three tablespoons of flour and blended them together with a whisk in a hot pan on the stove.  Slowly I added the leftover juices from the turkey, whisking continually until I had the most delicious gravy I think I have ever tasted!  Slicing turkey over always loyal Sunbeam bread, I pour a little gravy over it for the best Thanksgiving leftovers ever: an open-faced turkey sandwich!
And what was I working on that encouraged me to indulge in Turkey day leftovers?
{I’ll share all of these details later in the week!}
What did you find to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers?