Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Whole Roasted Turkey and Gravy

Recipe No: 131
Thanksgiving is far over and I was not able to give my whole roasted Turkey recipe before  it, but I think this may help someone next year… I love to give an Indian twist to this with a marinade made with our spices. The gravy makes this dish, but unfortunately, while busy talking to everyone in the party, I just forgot to take its picture. (But was able to dig one from the previous year.) But still I think the description will help anyone out there who try this recipe.
Ingredients                                      Serves 15-18
  • Turkey………………………..1 (Weighing around 14 pounds)
For the Marinade
  • Ginger Garlic Paste….......1 ½ Tablespoons
  • Red Chilly Powder…….....1 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder….1/2 Teaspoon
  • Vinegar/ Lemon Juice....1 Tablespoon
  • Salt………………………….…2 Tablespoons
  • Pepper Powder………….…1 Teaspoon
  • Oil…………………………..…1/4 Cup
For the Gravy
  • Butter/ Oil……………….…3 Tablespoons
  • Flour……………………..….3 Tablespoons
  • Turkey drippings diluted with 3 cups of Water or Chicken Stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Method of Preparation
To Marinate the Turkey
  1. Thaw the Turkey really well in the refrigerator. This will take at least 2 days.
  2. Take the Giblets out of the cavity. The Neck and the Gizzard will be in the stomach cavity and Liver and Heart will be in the neck cavity. Make sure you remove both. Wash the Turkey well and take off remaining feathers if any. Wipe and dry it as much as possible and remove excess fat if you wish.
  3. Mix all the ingredients to make the marinade.
  4. With your hand carefully lift the skin from the breast as much as possible  without tearing and spread some marinade inside. This will help the spices to sweep into the meat and also will make the skin crispy.
  5. Spread the remaining Marinade all over the Turkey and massage into the skin for a few minutes. Make sure you spread the marinade in all nooks and corners of the Turkey.  Keep the marinated Turkey for at least 48 hours in the lowest rack of the refrigerator.
To cook the Turkey
  1. Preheat the oven at 350˚F/180˚C.
  2. Keep the Turkey in the middle of the oven on a wire rack over a dripping pan. A roasting pan is most helpful as it will crisp the Turkey up from the underside too. It is important as it is not possible to turn the Turkey over while cooking due to its weight.
  3. Roast for 2 ½ to 2 ¾ hours or till the juices runs clear or the Meat Thermometer inserted into the middle of the breast meat reads 165˚F/ 84˚C.
  4. If you want vegetables cut into big pieces and put in the bottom of the roasting pan when half way through cooking.
  5. Once cooked, take the Turkey out of the roasting pan, cover with a foil and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
To make the gravy
  1. From the Turkey drippings separate the Oil if possible and discard it or use it as the Oil component to make the Gravy.
  2. Pour Chicken Stock or Water to the pan with the Turkey drippings and let the stuck on drippings get loose. Scrape  the drippings lightly with a spatula if needed and keep it aside till ready to be used.
  3. In a pan on medium heat melt Butter/ Oil/ Fat oozed from the Turkey ; add the Flour and let it fry for a minute or till a roasted smell comes.
  4. Add the dripping with the Water/ Stock into the Flour and stir really good so that all the flour is dissolved well without any lumps.
  5. Add Salt and Pepper and let the gravy begin to boil stirring continuously.
  6. Once thickened, remove from heat, strain to remove any big particles if any and serve with Turkey.
  7. Pour a small portion of the gravy on the Turkey before carving and serve the rest on the side.
  • This recipe does not include stuffing. So if you stuff the cavity of the Turkey, the total time for roasting will be go up by at least 30 more minutes and the middle of the stuffing should read 160˚F/ 71˚C on meat thermometer.
  • To let the Turkey rest after cooking is important. While cooking, the juices from inside will be traveling towards the periphery (on its way to evaporate), so when you cut it while hot, the juices will simply ooze out and the remaining meat will be dry. But when allowed to rest the juices will distribute back in the meat and will not escape while cutting, making it more moist and juicy.

Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love...


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