I was fortunate enough to have a brother in law who offered to smoke the turkey for Thanksgiving this year. Man, oh, man!! If you have never eaten smoked turkey before…I suggest you add that to your “To eat” bucket list immediately! Since we didn’t host Thanksgiving this year, I decided to have a “second” Thanksgiving (on a much smaller scale) the Saturday after with just the four of us. Trader Joe’s apparently had an abundance of fresh Turkeys this year and marked them all half off! So I was able to score an almost 15 lb fresh organic turkey for just under $30!!!
1 (14-15 lb) turkey, neck and giblets reserved
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves of garlic, whole
1/2 lb bacon fat
6 fresh rosemary sprigs
6 fresh sage sprigs
6 fresh thyme sprigs
7 TBSP butter, unsalted
2 TBSP herbes de provence
1 TBSP olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste
6 C chicken broth
1/2 C all purpose flour
- Position the oven rack to the lowest third of the oven. Pre-heat to 400 degrees F.
- Place the turkey on the bottom of a large roasting pan.
- Stuff the turkey with the orange, lemons, onion, garlic, bacon fat, and 2 sprigs each of the fresh herbs.
- If the turkeys legs are not already secured, tie the legs together using kitchen twine.
- In a small saucepan, over med. heat, melt 2 TBSP of the butter. Stir in the herbes de provence, oil and 1 1/2 tsp of each salt and pepper.
- Rub the butter mixture over the turkey, between the breast meat and the skin.
- Place the neck and giblets in the roasting pan.
- Cover the breast only with foil and roast for 20 min.
- Pour in 3 C of the broth and stir the bottom of the roasting pan to scrape up any brown bits. Add the remaining sprigs of fresh herbs to the pan juices.
- Return the pan to the oven and continue to roast for anther 40 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temp to 350 degrees F. Discard the foil. Pour in 1 C of the broth into the pan and continue to roast the turkey for about another 1 1/2 hours or until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees F when places in the thickest part of the thigh, basting once halfway through.
- Allow the turkey to rest at least 45 minutes before carving.
NOT PICTURED: Turkey gravy
- Using a sieve, strain the turkey juices into a 4 C glass measuring cup.
- Discard the solids and spoon the fat off the top of the juices.
- Melt the remaining 5 TBSP of butter into a saucepan over med-high heat.
- Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in the pan juices while whisking constantly.
- simmer until he gravy thickens, about 10 minutes.
- If needed, season with salt and pepper.