For Thanksgiving overseas we gather around the table with friends we call family. This roasted turkey was rich in flavor and the drippings made a delicious gravy.
Serves: 9 kilo / 20 pound turkey served 14
large roasting pan
9 kilo / 20 pound frozen turkey
8 large carrots
2 stalks celery
2 yellow onions
8 cloves garlic
1 bunch green onions
1 punch fresh parsley
8 sprigs fresh rosemary, tied in 2 bundles of four
1 400 ml bottle of Coke Classic
200 g butter, melted for basting
chicken stock for basting
Spices: sage, cracked black pepper, course sea salt, paprika, z’atar
For the turkey:
Thaw: place frozen turkey in refrigerator one day per every 4 pounds before roasting day. This 9 kilo/ 20 pound turkey took 5 days to completely thaw.
Prep the turkey: Remove giblets and organs from the inside of turkey, set aside. Thoroughly wash the turkey inside and out and pat dry.
Prep the pan:
Wash and pat dry all the vegetables and fresh herbs. Roughly chop everything. Soak the vegetables in filtered water for 5 minutes. Place half the vegetables and herbs (except the rosemary bunches) in the bottom of the roasting pan making a bed for the turkey.
Season the remaining vegetables with salt and pepper and stuff both ends of the turkey. Lay the turkey breast-side up on the bed of vegetables. Baste the entire turkey with melted butter. Rub the turkey down with paprika, sage, z-atar, course salt and pepper. Make sure you get in all the crevices and cover the entire bird. Tuck a rosemary bunch under each wing. Pour the bottle of Coke in to the bottom of the pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 175 degrees Celsius. Place bird on lowest rack in oven.
Every 30 minutes to one hour baste the turkey with chicken stock. Check the temperature of the bird in the thickest part of the breast and thigh after three hours. Cooking times will vary but the internal temperature of the bird should be at about 165-170 degrees when fully cooked. This bird roasted for 4.5 hours. After three hours, if the skin is the desired level of golden, tent with aluminum foil. This will also help keep the bird moist. Continue to baste with juices from the turkey and/or with pre-made chicken stock.
Once the bird has reached an internal temperature of 165-170 remove from oven, tent with aluminum foil if you have not already and let rest for 20-25 minutes. This is the perfect time to heat sides or other dishes you are serving alongside your bird.
Remove pan drippings and make gravy.
Carve and enjoy as you gather with your loved ones.
The bones make a delicious stock.