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Orange & Spice Glazed Roast Turkey with Braised Fennel and Onions

- November 19, 2012 -

This was by far one of the best turkeys I have ever made! Everyone loved it, and even though I roasted a behemoth of a bird at a whopping 23 pounds, there wasn’t much leftover. (Just enough for a couple healthy portions of soup and a sandwich or two.

The recipe for the Orange Spice glaze makes quite a bit. Serve the remaining glaze after brushing the bird as a sauce with the sliced meat. Whenever I roast a large piece of meat or poultry on a rack I like to kill two birds with one stone by filling the bottom of the pan with complimentary vegetables to slowly braise in the juices while the meat roasts.
If you don’t like the idea of fennel and onions, you could do diced winter squashes or potatoes, then puree for an additional side dish. If you opt for the potato route, skip the cardamom and cloves as ingredients.
For one final note: the absolute best thing you can do to ensure your turkey is delicious and moist is to brine it for 24-48 hrs ahead of time. I urge you not to skip this step! It makes a world of difference, and allows the meat to be truly penetrated with all the flavors of the spices that make this turkey stand out from all the others you’ve tried.

Orange & Spice Glazed Roast Turkey with Braised Fennel and Onions


For Brine:
Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients, minus buttermilk, in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir in buttermilk.
  2. Remove neck and giblets from turkey and reserve for making stock or gravy if you wish. Rinse bird thoroughly. Place bird, breast side down, in large stock pot. (helpful hint: use a brining bag. Place turkey breast side first in back, then put bag in stockpot. Much easier clean up this way.)
  3. Pour cooled brine mixture over turkey, and add enough water to cover completely. Refrigerate for 24-48 hrs in brine.


To Roast Turkey:
Ingredients:


Directions:

  1. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Gently loosen skin from breasts and tops of thighs, being careful not to tear the skin. Mix zest, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, and ginger in a small bowl. Rub about 1/3 to ½ of spice mixture under skin on breasts and tops of thighs. Rub remaining spice mixture all over the outside of the bird (you can skip the back). Quarter reserved zested oranges and place inside cavity. Allow to rest and dry at room temperature for 1 to 1½ hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425. While turkey rests, prepare fennel and onions for braising and place in the bottom of roasting pan (recipe follows).
  3. Place turkey on a rack in roasting pan over fennel and onion mixture. Tie legs together and tuck wing tips under body. Generously brush outside of turkey with Blood Orange EVOO. Generously season with coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  4. Roast at 425 for 45 minutes. Skin should be very brown. Reduce temperature to 350. Brush turkey again with Blood Orange EVOO and gently tent with foil. Roast for another hour to hour and a half until internal temperature reaches 125 with an instant read thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the thigh.
  5. Meanwhile, make orange spice glaze and let cool to room temperature. (Recipe Follows)
  6. Brush turkey with glaze every 20 minutes until cooked through and an instant read thermometer reaches 165 when stuck in the thickest part of the the thigh the thigh, about 1 hour longer. (if your bird is over 18 lbs, it the thigh. If your bird is over (18 lbs it will take about an hour and a half. ) Remove turkey from oven, brush again with glaze, and let rest lightly tented with foil for 30 min. to 1 hour before carving. (Strain fennel and onions from juices. Use juices to make gravy or pan sauce if desired.)
  7. Serve carved turkey with remaining orange spice glaze.


For Braised Fennel and Onions:
If you want to make this dish in a separate pan, or on an occasion when you aren’t roasting a turkey, duck, or chicken, simply add 2 cups of stock and 3 Tbsp. Blood Orange EVOO along with fennel and onions in a roasting pan or large baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 400 degrees for 2 hours.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place fennel, onions, and spices in the bottom of roasting pan. Scatter cardamom and cloves on top of vegetables.
  2. Top with roasting rack and cook along with turkey as directed.
  3. Strain vegetables from juices and transfer to serving dish. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds.

For Orange-Spice Glaze:
This glaze also makes an excellent sauce for grilled or seared salmon, chicken, and duck. Can be made up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge. Let come to room temperature before glazing turkey.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally. (I highly recommend a coated or non stick sauce pan if you have one for easy clean up). Reduce heat and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

 


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