Chef Leon Schreck Shows Us How To Make the Perfect Turkey

Today in Amarillo

Shopping List

  • 3 pounds sweet cream unsalted butter (no Margarine)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 jars better than bouillon roasted chicken base
  • Bunch of fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 2 Sea salt cans
  • fresh Rosemary sprigs crushed
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • rubbed sage
  • dried Marjoram
  • fresh ground Blk Pepper
  • minced Fresh garlic
  • onion powder
  • bunch fresh chive
  • apple or hickory smoked Bacon
  • Boxes of vegetable broth to total (1 Gallon)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • Black Peppercorns
  • whole allspice berries
  • 5-gallon clean bucket, with lid or a turkey briner

Concierge Butter

Can be made 3 days in advance

  • 4 Sticks of Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter at Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup of Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley or Cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Rosemary Crushed
  • 2 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 Tsp Rubbed Sage
  • 1 ½ Tsp Dried Marjoram
  • ¾ Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Of Minced Fresh Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Finely Chopped Chive

Mix all ingredients and place in an airtight bag or container overnight in the fridge. This lets all the flavors marry and give a more even flavor. Take out of the fridge at least 2 hours before turkey prep.

Turkey Brine

Can be made 3 days in advance

  • Boxes of vegetable broth to total (1 Gallon)
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Black Peppercorns-crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries- crushed
  • Season with fresh sage, rosemary, and a little fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 gallon of ice water, and a 5-gallon clean bucket.

Remove the giblets bag and neck from inside the turkey cavity or from the neck cavity.

In a pot on the stove put the first 6 ingredients in pot and bring to a boil, stirring often. Let cool to room temp and refrigerate overnight.

Put brine in 5-gallon bucket or upright ice chest and place the turkey in breast side down, cover with the ice water, brine over night or two nights but mind the ice, bring out let it drain and pat dry.

Preparing to Cook

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Take the turkey out of brine and let drain in sink.

After 10 minutes pat dry with paper towels and trim off loose skin around the neck cavity and body cavity.

Take your fingers and gently move them in between the breast meat and skin on both sides of the breast careful not to tear the skin. Get some of the herb butter and place it under the skin and then from the outside of the skin work it towards the front of the breast do it on both sides until you have put apx ¾ stick on each side. Now take some of the butter apx ½ stick in the body cavity, and the rest will be rubbed all over the turkey. Cover it everywhere make a mess of it.

Place on roaster rack or in a roaster pan, give a good sprinkle of olive oil all over the bird, this will raise the burning point of the butter, so it won’t burn.

Cut into quarters 1 sweet onion and place in a microwavable dish with some water and microwave for 3 minutes (starts the cooking process). Place them in the cavity. Add cavity-sized celery sticks to taste, add 1 cup water in the roaster pan, along with 2 cups chicken broth.

Place in oven until breast turns golden brown about 20 to 30 minutes. Pull out and place whole slices of bacon across the breast.

Cooking the Turkey

Place in a 450-degree oven for 20 to thirty minutes or until you have gotten the color you like on the breast skin to pull from the oven and turn down to 350.

Now place a leave-in programmable temp probe in the middle of the breast lengthwise (neck to Legs) take care not to be near the breastbone or the rib bones so you are looking for the densest portion of the breast

Now you need to protect the breast from burning so we are going to use bacon, lay the bacon across the breast overlapping until you have completely covered the breast but none of the rest of the bird. Program your temp probe set to point to 165 degrees and put it back in the oven at 350 be mindful of the probe wire and shut your oven door. You don’t want to break it; about every 45 minutes you need to baste. When the temp probe sounds off pull out from the oven, and then check temp around the thigh area.

If the clear liquid runs out and the temp is at 170 or better, you are done if not adjust the time in the oven until it is done. Then tent it and let it rest for at least 2 hours.

Turkey Gravy

Take the bacon from the turkey breast and the stuff from the body cavity placed on the cutting board.

Re-tent the turkey and cut up the bacon and onion and celery and place in the roasting pan with the turkey juices (reserve some juices for your stuffing if you want).

Add minced garlic and place in roaster with half sprig of fresh rosemary, and ¼ sprig thyme, ½ stick butter and start to cook on the stovetop, add 3 cups chicken broth, take the fore wings off the turkey and place in the roaster and reduce by half.

Then take and use a tater masher to mash all the veg in the roaster (extract all the flavor from veg) then strain in a bowl and push all the juice from the veg then throw away the veg.

Put gravy in a saucepan and bring to a light boil adding chicken broth with 2 to 4 tablespoons of corn starch (depending on how much broth you have) whisked into it.

Stir and salt and pepper to taste. Add some crushed up walnuts for some flavorful texture

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