This turkey recipe ensures juicy meat and a crackling brown skin by following a traditional process from Bresse, the French capital of poultry. It involves first poaching the bird, then roasting it the next day.
1 quart turkey stock
4 medium carrots, roughly chopped
3 onions, thickly sliced
1 head of garlic, peeled
butter, or duck fat (if available)
organic turkey, 14-16 lbs
salt & pepper
Combine the stock, carrots, onions and garlic in a stock pot large enough to hold the turkey. Fill it with water up to half-way. Bring to boil over medium-high heat.
While the stock heats, rinse the turkey and, starting at the neck, carefully seperate the skin from the breast and upper thighs with your fingers, being careful not to tear the skin. Rub butter or fat all over the outside, in between the skin and flesh. Truss the turkey. (This is note mandatory, but makes it easier to handle the bird later.)
When the stock begins to boil, generously season it with salt and pepper. Add turkey to pot and adjust heat so it simmers. Cover the pot with a lid and make sure the turkey is submerged. Simmer for 40 minutes, then remove pot from heat and let turkey slowly cool to room temperature in the broth, up to 4 hours. Refrigerate turkey still in pot.
The next day, preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Take the bird out of the pot, place it on a rack in a roasting pan and roast it in the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off, leaving bird inside for about an hour.
When you are ready to eat, the turkey will be perfectly cooked and nicely roasted. Be sure to strain and save the left-over stock for soup.