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High Heat Roasting - Chicken/Turkey

11 years ago

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Simple Roast Turkey - High Heat Method
Source:Barbara Kafka
Roasting A Simple Art

Many Thanksgivings at my house have proved the high-heat method to be ideal. A fifteen-pound turkey at room temperature takes two hours to roast. However, it may take several hours for the turkey to reach room temperature. While the turkey is sitting out, cover it loosely with a towel, otherwise the skin will dry out. I prefer a fifteen-pound turkey as it isn't too heavy for me to handle. It usually gives lots of good leftovers and is generally available.

There are certain things to think of to ensure success before beginning: Remove the giblet bag from the interior of the bird. Remove the wing tips. Put everything except the livers into a pot and start Basic Fowl Giblet Gravy. By the time the bird is roasted, the gravy will be done. Use the liver in the dressing/stuffing or store in the freezer, covered with milk. Make sure there is a pan big enough for the turkey without it's touching the sides of the pan. Do not truss.

Consider whether the bird should be stuffed or the stuffing served as dressing baked separately. If stuffing, think in terms of twelve cups of stuffing for a 15 pound bird, which will allow the big cavity to be stuffed and some more stuffing to be crammed under the skin flap at the neck. I seldom stuff because there are real food safety questions about the bird and its stuffing sitting out at room temperature.

The oven must be very clean before roasting, or cooking at this high temperature will cause unpleasant smoke. In any case, there will be some smoke, so turn on the fan or open a window. Don't put the oven rack too high or the skin on the breast will get over cooked. For a twenty-pound turkey, the rack should be in the lowest position. Always put the turkey in legs first - dark meat takes longer to cook and the rear of the oven is the hottest area.

If the top skin seems to be getting too dark, slip a doubled piece of aluminum foil on top of it. Don't move the turkey. Use an oven mitt to protect hands and forearms. Remove the foil with the same oven mitt ten minutes before the turkey comes out.

Large turkeys are most easily removed from the pan by holding them with two pot holders, which will need to be washed. After the meal, get out a large stockpot to boil up the carcass and leftover bones for turkey soup and stock.

15 pound turkey, thawed, if necessary and at room temperature, wing tips removed, reserving giblets and neck for gravy, liver for stuffing.

Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup water or basic turkey/chicken stock

Place oven rack on second level from bottom of oven. Heat oven to

Rinse the turkey inside and out. Pat dry. Sprinkle the outside with
pepper. If stuffing, stuff cavity and crop, securing openings with
long metal skewers. Lace them. Do not truss.

Put turkey in an 18 X 13 X2 inch roasting pan, breast side up. Put in
oven legs first. Roast until the leg joint near the backbone wiggles
easily, about 2 hours. After 20 minutes, move the turkey around with a
wooden spatula to keep from sticking. Remove the turkey to a large
platter. Let sit 20 minutes before carving.

Pour off grease from roasting pan and put pan on top of the stove. Add
water or stock. Bring to a boil while scraping bottom of pan
vigorously with a wooden spoon, loosening all the crisp bits in the
bottom of the pan. These add intensity to the gravy. Let reduce by
half. Serve on the side in a sauceboat or add to giblet gravy.

9 pounds
stuffed 1 hour 45 minutes
unstuffed 1 hour 15 minutes

12 pounds
stuffed 1 hour 50 minutes
unstuffed 1 hour 20 minutes

15 pounds
stuffed 2 hours 30 minutes
unstuffed 2 hours

20 pounds
stuffed 3 hours 30 minutes
unstuffed 3 hours

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Simplest Roast chicken
Copied directly from Barbara Kafka's "Roasting, A simple Art" Cookbook.

5- to 6-pound chicken, wing tips removed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
I lemon, halved
4 whole garlic cloves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter,
1 cup Basic Chicken Stock or canned,
water. Fruit juice. or wine for
optional deglazing.

Kosher salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 500°F

Roasting time
50 ~ 60

Simplest Roast Chicken

Serves 2 to 4

Here it is, the recipe that started the book. If there is no lemon, garlic, or butter on hand, roast the chicken without them. Or play. Use peeled shallots or a small onion, quartered. Add some leaves from the top of a bunch of celery, a couple of sage leaves, or a Bay leaf. Try a few juice orange or blood orange wedges.

Vary the deglazing liquid to change the flavor of the gravy or to match what's in the bird. Basic Chicken Stock-or canned-is the starting point, but use part wine-whatever is left over, red or white-or a little vermouth. Make one third of the liquid orange juice if oranges are in the bird. This is not astrophysics. Have fun.

Place rack on second level from bottom of oven. heat oven to 500°E

Remove the fat from the tail and crop end of the chicken. Freeze the neck and giblets for Basic Chicken Stock. Reserve chicken livers for another use.

Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon, garlic, and butter. if using. Season the cavity and skin with salt and pepper.

Place the chicken in a 12 x 8 x I 1/2-inch roasting pan breast side up. Put in the oven legs first and roast 50 to 60 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Alter the first 10 minutes, move the chicken with a wooden spatula to keep it from sticking.

Remove the chicken to a platter by placing a large wooden spoon into the tail end and balancing the chicken with a kitchen spoon pressed against the crop end. As you lift the chicken, tilt it over the roasting pan so that all the juices run out and into the pan.

Pour off or spoon out excess fat from the roasting pan and put the roasting pan on top of the stove. Add the stock or other liquid and bring the contents of the pan to a boil, while scraping the bottom vigorously with a wooden spoon. Let reduce by half. Serve the sauce over the chicken or, for crisp skin, in a sauce boat.