Although this turkey is cooked at an unusually high temperature (hence, the term "blast furnace"), you'll be amazed how tender and juicy it is. The skin blackens somewhat, but it is discarded. The rock-salt layer in the roasting pan cuts down on any grease that may splash in the over. Surprisingly, the salt doesn't add any sodium to the recipe.
1 (12-pound) turkey
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 cups rock salt
How to Make It
Remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey under cold water, and pat dry. Trim excess fat from turkey. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting one hand, palm side down. Gently push hand beneath the skin and against the meat to loosen skin.
Combine 1 tablespoon salt and the next 6 ingredients (1 tablespoon of salt through pepper) in a bowl; stir well. Rub herb mixture on breast and drumsticks beneath the skin. Tie ends of legs together with cord. Lift wing tips up and over back, and tuck under turkey.
Spread rock salt in bottom of a shallow roasting pan. Place turkey, breast side up, on rock salt. Insert meat thermometer in meaty part of thigh, making sure it does not touch bone. Bake at 500° for 1 1/2 hours or until thermometer reaches 165°. Cover turkey loosely with aluminum foil; let stand 15 minutes. Discard skin before serving.
This has been the bird of choice for the past five Thanksgivings in my family. My picky little brother specially requests that I make no changes to "The Turkey".
Note: Make sure to have plenty of gravy to go around, as it complements this recipe perfectly.
Wow. It's true! You can have turkey in less than 2 hours. Cooked this for 90 minutes (as per instructions) and it was perfect--moist and delicious. The rock salt means you need to make your own gravy (as you won't have drippings). I made Southern Living's Anytime Turkey Gravy instead and it great. One thing--this recipe feeds a lot, but I don't think you'd get 23 servings out of it. It's so good, people will definitely want a larger serving size than suggested.
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