Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours
1 Whole, Fresh Turkey*
1-3 celery stalks
1/4-1/3 Cup Honey
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1 turkey sized oven bag**
3-4 Tablespoons of oil
3-4 Tablespoons of Flour
Left Over Turkey Juices
*For the turkey, get a size suitable for the number of guests. A rule of thumb is 1 pound per person. I also say fresh, because they generally are the best, but you need to buy it, at most, two days before thanksgiving. You can also use a frozen turkey, but give a day per 3-4 pounds to thaw in your freezer,
** You can alternatively use the top of a roasting pan, but I've never tried it this way because I generally use the one use aluminum roasting pan which doesn't have a top or the turkey I cook is way too big for the top fit. The advantage is that the turkey self bastes, which cuts down on cooking time.
1) Preheat oven to 325. Wash and prep the turkey. Make sure you remove the neck (inside the chest cavity) and the giblets (usually stuck underneath the skin at the top). Rinse the turkey and put it inside the oven bag, which is in a roasting pan.
2) Quarter the apples, rougly slice the onions, and cut celery and carrots into 3 inch pieces. Mix together in a large bowl.
3) Mix the Honey and spices together until you have a dark brown paste. Scoop up the paste and rub it all over the turkey. At first it won't seem like it's spreading out much, but it will after a few seconds. Rub the spice mixture onto every part of the turkey you can reach.
4) Stuff the chest cavity with the vegetable and fruit mixture and the fresh sage. What doesn't fit inside the bird, scatter around the turkey inside the oven bag.
5)Close off the bag and cut a few slits into the bag, otherwise it will explode
6) Roast for 3-4 hours or until the turkey reaches 170-180 degrees when a meat thermometer is stuck inside the breast. (the cooking time is for a 20 pound turkey, other places will say 350, which will mean less cooking time, just rely on your thermometer)
7) Once the turkey has reached a safe temperature, cut off the oven bag and let it sit for a half and hour before you serve and carve it.
8) Throw away the oven bag and then strain the left over juices and save to make gravy
1) In a large sauce pan or kettle pour in the oil and heat over medium heat for 2-3 minutes
2) wisk in the flour one spoonful at a time until it becomes very thick, almost paste-like
3) Wisk in the left over turkey juices, stirring very frequently until it thickens. If you are having trouble getting it to thicken, just mix some flour with some water and pour that in and let it thicken.
4) Cooking the turkey this way, I have always had more than enough gravy to from just the turkey itself. If you don't feel you have enough, just add some chicken stock to your turkey juices.