Happy Turkey Day!! What’s more appropriate to post on Thanksgiving than a great roast turkey recipe that can’t be beat?!
When we were planning the Feast of St. Andrew’s based on Scappi, I was very excited to see that thanks to some New World additions, we had new protein choices available to us for the feast. Our St. Andrew’s event is almost always held in November, as our Baronial Anniversary is then and it’s our biggest event of the year. What’s cheap and easily accessible in November? TURKEY!!
Scappi wrote about “Indian fowl” which we know today as the turkey of North America.
I said to Monkey, “We could do turkey!!” in this really excited tone. And she said, “We can’t do turkey. We can’t possibly fit enough turkeys in the ovens that we have available to us.” And I said, “Turkey london broil?!” And she said, “That’s a made up thing, and it’s not nearly as cheap as buying whole turkeys.”
We debated back and forth and eventually landed on the idea of parting out the turkeys and roasting the parts separately. This also meant that we could customize the timing for each part of the birds – so, separate trays of wings, breasts, legs and thighs. It’s not as classic a presentation as a whole roasted turkey, but each part would be cooked perfectly to the right temperature.
We needed 11 tables of 8 people, so 6 whole turkeys meant we could give each table a half of an average 16lb whole roasted turkey and have 1 half a bird leftover just in case of disaster. (*ALWAYS have some extra just in case of whatever might happen…).
We tested out the recipe with the bird whole in Monkey’s oven at home so this recipe is for the whole bird, but we very easily adapted it to separated birds by putting the aromatics in the tray under the meat.
I found whole fennel seeds in the market when I went shopping for the feast so I used my carefully cleaned out coffee grinder to pulverize the seeds before sprinkling them on the turkey.
- 1 Whole Turkey (about 16lbs) fresh or defrosted, washed, dried and giblets removed
- Olive oil
- Ground Fennel
- 1 Carrot, Cut in half
- 2 Stalks Celery, Cut in half
- 1 Apple, Quartered
- 1 Onion, Quartered
- Preheat oven to 450°F
- Rub entire outside of turkey with olive oil
- Sprinkle Turkey inside and out with salt, pepper and ground fennel.
- Stuff cavity with aromatics (Celery, Carrot, Onion, Apple)
- Roast at 450°F for 30 minutes and then drop the oven temperature to 350°F and cook until breast reads 165°F.