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Thoughts Turn to Food as Season Winds Down

Grilled Whole Turkey

November 2014, Dan Herbster, Safety Manager –

As the logging season winds down. The shop is making plans for winter repairs; parts are ordered and schedules are set.  This is all done along with the day to day repair and servicing.  As we contemplate the coming holidays we are thinking of celebrations; so here are a couple of recipes that make our mouths water.


Grilled Whole Turkey with Simple Gravy

  • 1 (14-pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or homemade turkey broth, divided
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Prepare a grill for high heat cooking, allowing grill temperature to reach 500°F.   Pat turkey dry inside and out with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine salt, chili powder and pepper. Loosen skin over turkey breast meat with your fingers and work a little of the salt mixture under the skin and over the meat, smooth skin back in place. Sprinkle remaining mixture over skin and in turkey cavity. Tie legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wings under body. Place on a rack set in a large roasting pan.

Prepare the grill for indirect cooking by turning off one of the burners or by arranging hot coals on one side of the grill. Place turkey in the roasting pan over the burner that is off and turn remaining burners to medium (keeping grill temperature at 350° to 375°F). If using a charcoal grill, replenish coals as necessary to maintain a steady temperature. Cover the grill and cook turkey, adding 1 1/2 cups of the broth to the roasting pan after 1 hour and again after 2 hours, for 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 hours total, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh, without touching bone, reads 165°F (about 13 minutes per pound). Transfer turkey to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes before carving (while preparing gravy).

Pour drippings from the roasting pan through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass measuring cup and let sit for 1 minute; spoon off any fat that floats to the surface. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and cook until smooth. Add remaining 2 cups broth and pan drippings and whisk constantly until smooth. Cook, stirring frequently, until gravy thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Carve turkey, transfer to a platter and serve with gravy.

Dry-Brined Spiced Citrus Turkey


Dry Brined Spiced Citrus Turkey

  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon pink peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 large grapefruit (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 (14- to 16-pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Combine coriander, peppercorns, fennel and bay leaves in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool. Grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until crushed but not powdered. Return spices to the bowl and stir in salt, sugar and grapefruit zest.

Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Rub spice mixture all over turkey and in cavity. Place turkey on a rack set in a roasting pan and refrigerate uncovered 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Rinse spice mixture off turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Rub butter all over turkey, working a little underneath skin of breast. Tuck wing tips under turkey and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Return turkey breast-side up to the rack-lined roasting pan. Roast for 1 1/2 hours. Tent breast loosely with aluminum foil and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh, without touching bone, reads 165°F, or juices run clear when thigh is pierced, about 2 hours more. Start checking for doneness about 1 hour before the total roasting time is reached. Let turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving.

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