Thursday, September 29, 2011

Roasted Turkey with Paprika, Thyme and Garlic

I went to the grocery store without a plan the other day, and I left with a 12 pound turkey. Not a typical impulse buy, but I was thinking of braising some short ribs, they didn't have any, so I left with the turkey.

In the back of my head, I have been thinking about turkeys for a couple of reasons. I wanted to start roasting a turkey once a month or so, because I love turkey. And so does everyone else in my family. The tryptophan is another good reason, as I am an insomniac. And the last reason is, I just want to get better at it.

When I roast my turkey at Thanksgiving it is usually the first time I have roasted a turkey in a year. So I always get a little nervous and sometimes (okay, usually), we mess up the timing.

I am also thinking of turkeys because we will be somewhere warm over the holidays and already have plans to smoke a turkey. Another exciting new cooking adventure that we haven't tried before, I need to start researching the best way to do it.

Roasted Turkey with Paprika, Thyme and Garlic

1 10 - 12 lb turkey
1 T sweet paprika
2 T minced thyme
16 cloves garlic, minced
6 T olive oil
salt and pepper

3 T butter
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T minced thyme

1 onion, peeled and quartered
a small handful of thyme sprigs

Pre-heat the oven to 400.

In a small bowl mix together 1 T sweet paprika, 16 cloves of the minced garlic and the olive oil.

Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Place in the V of a roasting rack. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (including the inside the cavity). Put the onion and thyme sprigs in the cavity of the turkey. Cover the turkey with the paprika mixture, turning to spread it evenly over the entire turkey. Put the turkey back side up, pour 1/2 cup water in the bottom of the pan and place the pan in the oven.

Roast for 45 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven, baste with the juices in the bottom of the pan and return to the oven for another 45 minutes.

Melt the 3 T butter in a small saucepan. Mix in the 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp sweet paprika and 1 T minced thyme.

Take out of the oven, turn the turkey over and baste with the butter mixture. Return to the oven and roast for another 30 - 45 minutes, (if the breast meat or top starts to get too brown, cover loosely with foil), until a thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 170 (the temperature should rise 10 degrees after being removed from the oven, you can leave it in until it reaches 175 if you prefer).

Let sit for 20 minutes before carving.

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