Oven Roasted Christmas Turkey With Homemade Gravy Recipe
Chrisal makes a mouthwatering Christmas Turkey using a flavour injector and spice and herb rub. The flavour injector ensures great flavour is imparted into the bird and moisture is maintained throughout the roasting process.
1 Small Turkey (6-7 lbs)
For the Flavor Injector
- Bay leaf
- pimento/allspice berries
- 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
- fresh/dried rosemary
- fresh/dried thyme
- 1 tsp Fresh green seasoning
- 3/4 to 1 cup water
- Salt (to taste)
- Sugar (to taste and optional)
Add all ingredients to a pot on medium heat and stir just until the sugar and salt are dissolved. When cooled to room temperature, pulse the liquid until the majority of the ingredients have broken down and then strain. Big particulars will clog the needle and the liquid would not be able to penetrate.
For the Rub
- 1/2 – 3/4 of room temperature salted butter (to control salt level, you can use unsalted)
- pimento pepper powder
- onion powder
- black pepper
Mix all ingredients and set aside – to mixture should feel kind of grainy with an orange hue.
For the Cavity
- 1 onion chopped in half with skin on
- 1 lemon chopped in half with skin on
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 garlic bundle – halved
NOTE: You can use a combination of marinade techniques, but be careful to watch your salt and seasoning as there is such a thing as being “overly seasoned”. There are advantages of each however ensure that salt is only used in ONE of the methods. Eg if salt is in the flavour injector, do not include salt in the dry rub or vice versa.
Christmas Turkey Instructions
After you have washed and properly cleaned the turkey, do the following:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Pat dry the turkey and infuse flavour using the meat injector. Turkey is a very lean meat so you want to inject as many areas as possible to infuse flavour – like 30 – 40 injections. Angle or aim the needle towards the middle of the meat – don’t push the needle in so far that you are close to coming out the other side. If you overshoot, the liquid will just slip through to the opposite side of the meat. However, if you don’t insert the needle far enough, it will seep out the hole you just created.
- Next, massage the turkey with the green seasoning, including the cavity.
- Take your “dry rub” and rub the turkey making sure to get on top and under the skin and in the cavity as well. The flavours infuse the meat and create a beautiful golden colour on the skin. If using this along with a brine or flavour injector, you need to eliminate the salt from the rub recipe.
- Stuff the cavity with halved lemons, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme.
- Tie or tuck the legs in the overlapping skin and tuck the wings tips under the body of the turkey. Place on a rack or lay on a bed of roughly chopped carrots and onions (grease the dish).
- Cover the turkey and place in the oven. Average cooking time is approx 15 – 20 mins per pound and can be less if brined.
- Check turkey after 1 hour – juices would have sprung. Take the juice and pour over the turkey. Cover and put back in the oven for 30 mins
- Uncover the turkey and baste again, continue doing so every 5-10 mins as the skins turn brown. The basting will help give it colour and will develop the flavour on the outside.
- Once the juices run clear between the thigh and leg, and there’s sufficient colour, take the turkey out. IF your turkey comes with the temperature gauge, then when it pops out, it’s cooked,
- Remove the turkey to a cutting board and loosely cover with aluminium foil. If you cover too tightly, it will sweat out the flavour rather than redistribute it. Let rest for 20 mins then slice and serve.