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Photo: Johnny Miller; Styling: Sarah Smart  

Oil-Basted Parmesan Turkey with Walnut Gravy

Nine ingredients (not counting salt, pepper, and cooking spray) come together for a grand holiday centerpiece with deep nutty essence from toasted walnut oil and chopped nuts. Let your turkey come to room temperature before it goes in the oven; it will cook more evenly and more quickly.

Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2013

  • Yield: Serves 18 (serving size: about 4 ounces meat and about 3 tablespoons gravy)
  • Hands-on: 35 Minutes
  • Total: 3 Hours

Ingredients

  • 1 (12- to 13-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed and at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnut oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 pears, halved and divided
  • 2 onions, halved and divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 500°.

2. Remove giblets and neck from turkey; discard. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine 1 tablespoon oil, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cheese in a small bowl. Rub cheese mixture under loosened skin over flesh. Place 1 pear and 1 onion in cavity. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Place turkey on the rack of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange remaining 3 pears and remaining onion, cut sides down, in a roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place rack with turkey in pan. Bake at 500° for 30 minutes. Pour 1 1/2 cups stock over turkey; reduce heat to 350°. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Pour 1 1/2 cups stock over turkey; bake for 10 minutes. Brush 1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil over turkey; bake 20 minutes. Brush remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil over turkey; bake 10 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°. Remove from oven. Place turkey, breast side down, on a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Let stand 30 minutes.

3. Strain pan drippings through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour pan drippings into bag. Let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top).

4. Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a saucepan, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups stock and flour in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add stock mixture and walnuts to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour mixture into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Process until smooth. Serve gravy with turkey.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 309
  • Fat: 12.1g
  • Saturated fat: 2.6g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 5.7g
  • Protein: 39.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 9.9g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Cholesterol: 95mg
  • Iron: 2.7mg
  • Sodium: 260mg
  • Calcium: 72mg
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