The chef of Aspen's Caribou Club shares his take on a turkey recipe to beat all turkey recipes.
Serves 12 (with leftovers)
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon anise
6 bay leaves
1 gallon ice water
12-14 pound turkey with giblets and neck
4 tablespoons butter, soft
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For stuffed legs
½ cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons thyme, chopped
¼ cup brioche bread crumbs
¼ cup butter, unsalted and softened
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup chicken stock
5 ounces olive oil
For turkey broth
1 turkey neck
1 large carrot, peeled, chopped
1 yellow onion, peeled, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 cups turkey or chicken stock(low-sodium)
8 cups cold water
For corn brioche dressing
4 pounds golden brioche, cut into ½-inch cubes
4 cups turkey broth
1 carrot, peeled, diced
1 yellow onion, peeled, diced
1 rib celery, peeled and diced small
6 ears fresh corn, cut from the cob
4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
4 tablespoons sage, julienned
For giblet gravy
6 cups turkey broth
Giblets from 1 turkey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup white wine
¼ cup flour
2 tablespoons sage, chopped
Related: Derek Brown's American Whiskey Punch
Directions for the Brine
Combine all ingredients except ice water in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until salt and honey are dissolved. Remove from heat, cool, and refrigerate. Combine with ice water in a five-gallon bucket. Place the turkey (innards removed), breast down, in brine, making sure the chest cavity is filled. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, turning the turkey at halfway point. Remove from brine. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
Directions for the Turkey
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With a sharp knife, cut off the legs and set aside. Place breast standing up in a roasting pan. Rub with butter, salt, and pepper. Roast uncovered to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about 1½ hours. Remove from oven and allow to rest in a warm place, tented with foil until ready to serve.
Directions for the Stuffed Legs
Debone the legs. Remove silver skin and all the tendons. Place skin-side down, cover with plastic wrap, and pound evenly to ½-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients except the stock and olive oil in a bowl. Spread ½ the mix evenly across each leg. Roll into a tight cylinder. Tie with butcher's string and secure ends with skewers. Refrigerate for four hours. Season the outside with salt and pepper. Heat a medium roasting pan and add olive oil. Sear leg rolls until skin and meat are golden brown. Deglaze with stock, cover, and braise for 45 to 60 minutes, until the internal temperature is 130 degrees. Remove lid and brown until internal temperature is 140 degrees. Remove from heat and let rest, covered with foil, for at least five minutes.
Directions for the Turkey Broth
Heat a large saucepan and add vegetable oil. Brown turkey neck for about one minute. Add carrot, onion, celery, and bay leaves and sauté until soft, about two minutes. Add stock and water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and skim any fat from the top. Reduce by ⅓ and strain. Reserve.
Directions for the Corn Brioche Dressing
Heat a large sauté pan and add butter. Sauté onion for one minute, then add carrot, celery, and corn. Stirring constantly, cook until soft, about three minutes. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, gently fold in the vegetables, brioche cubes, and sage, then slowly add half the turkey broth. Salt and pepper to taste. Place mixture in a baking pan. Pour remaining broth over it and cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove foil and brown for 15 minutes. Set in a warm place until ready to serve.
Directions for the Giblet Gravy
Scrape roasting pan drippings into a cup. Heat a saucepan and add vegetable oil. Sauté giblets until brown and cooked through, about six minutes. Remove from heat and let rest. Add drippings and return to heat. Add flour, stirring constantly until it's slightly toasted. Deglaze with white wine. Add broth and bring back to a boil. Stir to smooth, and reduce to desired consistency. Finely chop giblets and add to gravy with fresh sage. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a gravy boat.
Place the breast, back down, on a warm platter. Fill cavity with dressing. Carefully remove string from legs. Slice legs into ½-inch pieces and arrange around breast and dressing. Garnish with fresh herbs.
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