Make your Thanksgiving turkey Michael Symon’s way!
1 whole turkey (thawed, 12-16 pounds)
1 bunch fresh sage
1 lemon (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
1 shallot (peeled, minced)
1 clove garlic (peeled, minced)
3 tablespoons sage (minced)
1 lemon (zested)
SAVORY BREAD STUFFING:
5 cups baguette and Italian loaf (cut in 1/2-inch cubes)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup onion (finely diced)
1 cup celery (finely diced)
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tablespoons sage (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon thyme (finely chopped)
2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey stock
1/4 cup dried cranberries (roughly chopped)
1/3 cup parsley (roughly chopped)
Remove the neck and giblets from the body and neck cavity of the turkey and pat dry. Rub salt all over the turkey and inside the cavity. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours or overnight.
For the Savory Bread Stuffing: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place bread cubes on baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Place the bread in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
In a large saute pan add the butter and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, celery seed, chili flakes and season with Kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Pour over the bread.
Add the stock, eggs, cranberries, parsley and mix to combine. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to allow the bread to soften and absorb the liquid. Place stuffing inside of the cheesecloth, tie close with twine and set aside.
For the Compound Butter: In a large bowl add the butter, shallot, garlic, minced sage, lemon zest, and mix to combine. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove to a piping bag and set aside.
For the Turkey: Remove turkey 30 minutes prior to cooking to come to room temperature. Raise oven temperature to 425ºF. Arrange an oven shelf in the lower third of the oven.
On a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan, arrange the turkey breast side up. Season the inside of the turkey with salt and pepper. Loosen the skin of the turkey by carefully running fingers under the skin. Place the sage leaves and lemon slices under the skin. Pipe the compound butter under the skin carefully to avoid breaking the skin, and smooth to coat. Place the cheesecloth filled with stuffing inside of the bird and tie the legs together with twine. Coat the outside of the bird with olive oil and season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Roast turkey in the lower third of the oven for 20 minutes at 425ºF. Turn the oven down to 325ºF and roast until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF, about 2 hours.
Raise oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9″x9″ casserole dish. Remove turkey and transfer to a carving board. Remove stuffing from the inside of the bird and place in the casserole dish. Bake 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
Meanwhile, cover the turkey with foil and allow to rest for about 20 minutes. Carve and serve.
Tip: If you slightly undercook your bird, go ahead and carve the meat. Place the meat on top of a little gravy in a baking dish. Cover and put on a low temperature in your oven until moist and fully cooked.