Christ­mas tur­key can be as sim­ple as rub and roast

Manawatu Guardian - - FOOD - Bonnie S. Ben­wick

Just rub the bird with oil, this sim­ple dried sea­son­ing blend and roast it: What you get is a nicely browned tur­key and pan juices that are flavour­ful enough to serve on their own.

Of course, this recipe works best when the dried sea­son­ings you use are at their best, so con­sider up­dat­ing your sup­ply — es­pe­cially the dried thyme.

If you don’t have a flat rack that fits in­side your shal­low roast­ing pan, cre­ate one us­ing a row of cel­ery ribs. You’ll need an in­stant-read ther­mome­ter for mon­i­tor­ing done­ness.

CHRIST­MAS TUR­KEY In­gre­di­ents

■ 7kg tur­key, giblet packet re­moved

■ 2 tsp salt

■ 2 tsp dried thyme

■ 1 tsp dried sage

■ 3⁄4 tsp sweet pa­prika

■ 3⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pep­per

■ 1 tsp pow­dered mus­tard

■ 1⁄4 cup ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

■ Wa­ter

Method

Po­si­tion a rack in the lower third of the oven (re­move the up­per racks); pre­heat to 180C. Place a flat rack in­side a shal­low roast­ing pan (with sides no higher than 5-8cm).

Stir to­gether the salt, thyme, sage, pa­prika, black pep­per and mus­tard in a small bowl.

Pat the tur­key dry, in­side and out. Rub it with the oil, then coat it with the dried sea­son­ing blend, mak­ing sure to scat­ter some in the cav­ity of the bird as well.

Place the tur­key on the rack in­side your shal­low roast­ing pan, then pour in about 1 cup of wa­ter.

Roast (lower rack) for 2 1⁄2 hours, turn­ing the pan from front to back a few times to pro­mote even brown­ing. (If it be­gins to look too dark, you can par­tially cover the bird with alu­minum foil.)

The tur­key is done when the in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture of the breast meat reg­is­ters 75C on an in­stant-read ther­mome­ter, and the thigh meat reg­is­ters 75C to 80C (taken away from the bone).

Let rest for at least 30 min­utes be­fore serv­ing; strain the pan juices for serv­ing as is or for mak­ing gravy.

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