Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Anise & Orange Dry-Rubbed Spatchcock Turkey Breast

And now. For the main event. The star of the show ladies and gentlemen. But first can we just take a minute to talk about the word: spatchcock. It's odd. It's dirty. It makes me giggle like a 7th grader. But nevertheless, it makes for a perfectly cooked turkey where all of the skin gets nice and crispy. Last year I made a liquid brine turkey, but this year (courtesy of Bon Appetit mag) I made my version of their dry brine bird. I also ripped the spine out of a turkey for the first time. It's a little creepy, but also makes you feel powerful at the same time. When you conquer it you'll understand. If you've missed any of my side dishes recipes leading up to today, check them out below!

Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Biscuits
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Cabernet Sauce
Rye, Kale, Mushroom, Chorizo Stuffing
Brussels Sprout Leaves with Hazelnuts & Bacon
Broccolini Au Gratin
Pumpkin Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktails
Orange Scented Goat Cheese Cheesecake

Anise & Orange Dry-Rubbed Spatchcock Turkey Breast

  • 4 tsp. aniseed
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. freshly grated orange zest
  • 4 strips orange peel
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary + 1 sprig
  • 1/2 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme + 1 sprig
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 5-10-lb. turkey breast (backbone removed)**
  • 1-2 large onions, quartered
  • 3 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 3 celery stalks, halved
  • 1 head garlic, halved lenghtwise
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

In a food processor or spice grinder chop 3 tsp. of the aniseed, salt, zest, brown sugar, rosemary, thyme, and pepper until fine.

Place turkey on a cutting board, skin side down and score with a knife along the bone in the center of the breast. Flip over to have it skin side up and press down firmly to flatten the bird. You may hear some cracks, that's okay. Just a few bones breaking, allowing the bird to lay flat. 

Place the bird onto a baking sheet with a wire rack set inside and rub the turkey all over with the spice mixture. Chill uncovered in the fridge for 6-18 hours (the longer the better).

Prepare your roasting pan by layering the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and rosemary and thyme sprigs. Rinse the turkey clean of the dry rub in the skin and pat dry. Place on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F and prepare the basting oil.

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat with the remaining aniseed and the orange strips until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Brush the turkey with the oil and add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the roasting pan. Add the turkey to the oven and roast for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes lower the heat to 350 degrees F, brush the turkey with some more of the oil and roast for another 20 minutes. Brush the turkey again and roast another 20 minutes. Repeat one more time (for a total of 1 hour at 350 degrees). 

Once the center of the breast reads 165 degrees F on a instant thermometer, remove the turkey, cover with foil, and let rest for 30 minutes. 

While the turkey rests, prepare the gravy. After the turkey rests and the gravy is made, slice the turkey breast and serve hot along your favorite side dishes. But don't forget to leave room for dessert!

  • pan drippings
  • 3 1/2 cups homemade stock (chicken/veggie)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. brown ale
  • salt and pepper to taste
Strain the drippings into a soup pot with 3 cups of the broth. Heat the broth and drippings over medium heat until hot. You may toss the vegetables in the bottom of the pan. Add 1/2 cup broth to the roasting pan and cook on the stove top over medium-high heat, scraping them up with a wooden spoon. Add in the flour and whisk constantly, cooking out the flour taste and creating a roux. After about 5 minutes, lower the heat to a simmer and add the broth/drippings mixture to the rough 1 cup at a time as you whisk constantly, creating a thick gravy. Once all of the broth and drippings has been added, pour in the vinegar and ale. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk until combined and serve hot.

**Note: feel free to use a larger/whole bird. I am a breast girl, so I did not bother with a whole bird with legs and wings. Just increase the spice rub to 4 tsp. aniseed, 1/2 cup salt, 1/4 cup orange zest, 2 tbsp. sugar, and 2 tsp. black pepper. 

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