Impress Your Guests This Thanksgiving
Whether you are the designated cook for a huge crowd this Thanksgiving or sitting down for a quaint meal with a few friends or family members, impress them with this delicious, funky new way to prepare your Thanksgiving bird. All the produce needed are currently in season and available at your local grocer. Of course the trick to any good meal is to purchase the most quality ingredients that your pocketbook can afford. You can whip this recipe up regardless if you are a seasoned cook or a novice who is committed to trying something new.
Pomegranate Rosemary Roasted Turkey
Total time to make: 3 hr, 50 min
Serves: 12 (you can half every ingredient for a smaller crowd so it will serve 6)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
½ bunch fresh rosemary leaves chopped finely
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish as desired
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large turkey (12-14 lb)
2 cups pomegranate juice (POM works great and you can find it anywhere)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and gently smashed
¾ cup brown sugar (I prefer light brown sugar)
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 fresh pomegranates, seeds for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Begin by making a compound butter. Put the butter and chopped rosemary in a food processor and mash with a spoon or fork, until the rosemary is well incorporated and season with salt and pepper.
Rinse the turkey thoroughly inside and out with cold water. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity liberally with salt and pepper. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin from the turkey breast and slip ¾ of the seasoned butter under, massaging the breast meat as you go. Take the remaining butter and baste the outside of the bird ensuring complete and even coverage. Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and into the preheated oven (uncovered).
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. To a small saucepan, add the pomegranate juice and sugar and gently simmer until sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, add the garlic, honey, orange juice, extra-virgin olive oil and rosemary sprigs. Simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until the mixture is thick and syrupy. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Roast the turkey for two hours, basting with the pomegranate glaze every 30 minutes. Be sure to baste the turkey completely and evenly. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees. The thigh juices will run clear when pricked with a knife, about three hours total (or approximately 15 minutes per pound of meat). If the legs or breast brown too quickly while roasting, cover them with sheets of tin foil.
When done, remove turkey from oven and set aside to rest until cool enough to touch. Carve the turkey and serve with holiday sides.
Yes, even you can cook this turkey and impress your guests this Thanksgiving holiday. On a side note, if this will be your first experience cooking a turkey, remember that when purchasing your turkey, they will typically be sold frozen. Keep the bird in your freezer and place in your fridge about 2-3 days prior to the cooking day to fully thaw. Happy almost Thankgiving!