Last year, once again, we had a turkey that was raised and slaughtered within 10 miles of our house. It doesn’t get much fresher than arranging the day you will pick up the turkey and having it freshly slaughtered that morning.
Instead of brining, I like Ina Garten’s approach of salting the bird and wrapping it in plastic wrap for a couple of days and then leaving it uncovered for a day. I have had good success with this simple approach.
For flavoring I used Bobby Flay’s black pepper-pomegranate molasses glaze. It is a strange combination of ingredients: pomegranate molasses, horseradish and dijon mustard.
The turkey and oven were not very cooperative. After realizing that at some point the oven had turned off, all timing was thrown off. The turkey ended up needing to be cooked a whole lot longer than it should have. But somehow, it still ended p delicious and, surprisingly, very moist.
Pomegranate Molasses Turkey
slightly adapted from Bobby Flay’s Black-Pepper Pomegranate Molasses Turkey
1 1/2 cups pomegranate molasses
3/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 (about 15 pounds) fresh turkey
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned broth
Two or three days before you plan to roast the turkey, wash the turkey inside and out, drain it well and pat it dry with paper towels. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the cavity of the turkey and rub 2 tablespoons on the skin, including under the wings and legs.
Place the turkey in a shallow dish to catch any drips and wrap the whole dish tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one or two days.
The day before you plan to roast the turkey, remove the plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge. The skin will dry out and turn a little translucent.
Preheat oven to 450F.
Whisk together pomegranate molasses, horseradish, mustard, salt, and coarsely ground black pepper. Set aside and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to meld.
Rub the entire surface of the bird with the butter and season well (including the cavity) with salt and pepper. Truss the turkey and place breast-up on a rack in a large roasting pan.Roast for about 45 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue roasting, basting with some of the chicken stock every 15 minutes, for about 1 hour, 15 minutes longer. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh should register 160 degrees F.)During the last 15 minutes of roasting, stop basting with the chicken stock and brush the entire turkey with 1 cup of the pomegranate glaze.Remove the turkey from the oven, brush with the remaining glaze, loosely tent and let rest 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!Serves 10-12.