HERBED ROAST TURKEY from the episode: One Great Thanksgiving—America’s Test Kitchen
Another recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is herbed roasted turkey. We did this with a 9 pound turkey breast. It had the bone in, but you can purchase turkey breasts without the bone and season it with herbs and bake. We did it in the 12” deep Dutch Oven. It was absolutely delicious and you could cut the meat with a plastic fork! We made half the paste recipe and put it under the breast skin, under the turkey breast, and over the turkey breast. We cut off the back part of the breast so that it would fit into a 12 deep Dutch Oven. We took the back part and simmered it in Chicken broth on the kitchen stove until we could remove the meat from the bone and used it in Turkey Noodle Soup. I placed 1 carrot, cut into 1” pieces, 1 celery stalk cut into 1” pieces, and 1 onion cut into eighths, onto the bottom of the Dutch Oven. I placed the turkey, breast side up on the vegetables, covered, and put 24 briquettes on top and 10 briquettes on the bottom. It took about 1 hour and 30 minutes. (We added new charcoal to the lid at the hour mark.) We baked it to 165 degrees at the thickest part of the breast. We let it sit for 20 minutes before carving into slices.
Herb Paste (For a turkey breast cut the recipe in half)
1 ¼ cups chopped fresh parsley leaves (roughly chopped)
4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (roughly chopped0
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons) (I just used an onion)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons) (I used ¼ teaspoon powdered garlic)
¾ teaspoon grated lemon zest, from 1 lemon
¾ teaspoon table salt (we decreased this to about ½ teaspoon)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (we decreased this to about ½ teaspoon or less)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped into 1-inch lengths
1 onion, halved and quartered
1 rib celery, chopped into 1-inch lengths
Pat the turkey breast dry inside and out with paper towels. Place turkey breast side up on flat wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, 30 minutes. This dries out the turkey skin and will help it brown better.
For Herb paste: Process parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, shallot, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in food processor until consistency of coarse paste, ten 2-second pulses. Add mustard and olive oil; continue to process until mixture forms smooth paste, ten to twelve 2-second pulses; scrap sides of processor bowl with rubber spatula after 5 pulses. Transfer mixture to small bowl.
To Prepare the Turkey: Remove turkey from refrigerator and wipe away any water collected in baking sheet; set turkey breast side up on baking sheet. Using hands, carefully loosen skin from meat of breast. Using spoon (I used my hands), slip 1 ½ teaspoons paste under breast skin on each side of turkey. Using fingers, distribute paste under skin over breast. Rotate turkey breast side down and rub 1 tablespoon paste on the underside of the turkey cavity. Apply half remaining herb paste to turkey skin; flip turkey breast side up and apply remaining herb past to skin, pressing and patting to make paste adhere; reapply herb paste that falls onto baking sheet.
To Roast the Turkey: Place the chopped carrot, onion, and celery onto the bottom of the 12” deep Dutch Oven. Place turkey breast side up on the vegetables. Put 8 briquettes on the bottom in a circle and 24 briquettes on the lid. Roast the turkey breast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You will need to add more charcoal to the top and bottom at the hour. Roast until thickest part of breast registers 165 degrees (Confirm temperature by inserting thermometer in both sides of bird.) Transfer turkey to carving board; tent with foil and let rest 20 minutes. Remove meat from the bone and slice the breast and serve.