This year’s turkey turned out especially well, here’s what I did:
-Honey 1/4 to 1/2 cup
-1 lb coarse chopped carrots
-1 lb coarse chopped celery
-1/2 lb coarse chopped onion
-Turkey oven bag
If frozen, thaw your turkey for a week or so in the fridge.
The night before you bake the turkey, remove the liver, heart, neck, and gizzards. Fry up the heart and then the liver (don’t fry the liver before or while frying the heart) and eat them like they were the reward after a long day’s hunt. The neck and gizzards can be placed back within the turkey’s cavity.
Open the turkey sized oven bag and place it on your baking pan. Add all of the mirepoix vegetables to the bottom of the bag, then put the turkey in, breast side up. Dust the top of the turkey with salt (no more than you would put on french fries), then drizzle honey over that, covering as much of the top of the turkey as possible. Seal the oven bag and store the turkey in the fridge overnight and until ready to start baking (remember to poke holes in the bag just before sticking it in the oven).
Bake until the correct internal temperatures are reached. For baking times and temperatures refer to the weight specific directions on your oven bag packaging, but remember to add the weight of the vegetables to the turkey’s weight and do not exceed the bag’s maximum cooking temperature.
As the turkey bakes, honey salted turkey drippings will marinate the roasting mirepoix. When the baking is completed, remove the turkey from the bag, and keep the drippings and the roasted mirepoix. If desired, place the turkey back in the pan (without any of the oven bag) and return it to the oven at a higher temperature to brown the skin, usually about a half hour at 450 degs. If desired as a side dish, separate some of the roasted mirepoix. It will have picked up salt, turkey fat flavoring, and honey flavors, making the roasted mirepoix good on its own. Take the rest of the mirepoix and turkey drippings and combine them in a blender. Blend until the mirepoix is pureed in the drippings. Place the blended mixture in a sauce pan and bring it to a light boil. Add corn starch until the desired gravy consistency is reached.
The wings, legs, and thighs will be good on their own, as always.
Carve the turkey breast meat into thin slices perpendicular to the grain, and serve with the blended mirepoix gravy on the side or drizzled across the pieces. The breast meat will have absorbed some of the honey sweetness, and you should be able to taste that on the undressed meat. The gravy will have the sweet and savory flavors of the turkey drippings plus the flavors of the roasted vegetables. It’s excellent, like a french version of barbeque sauce (with mirepoix instead of chiles and tomatoes).
Stretching that turkey out a bit more:
Return any unused bits and bones to a pot or pressure cooker, add water to cover, bring to a boil, and then simmer for a few hours. Then strain the unwanted bits out of the stock and freeze for future use in soups or as a water replacement when cooking rice or noodles.