Here’s the Diestel family’s easy as 1-2-3 roasting method (with stuffing and gravy tips) for the perfect holiday bird.
“When you buy the right Thanksgiving turkey,” Heidi Diestel says, “you don’t have to do much to it.” Here’s the Diestel family’s easy as 1-2-3 roasting method (with stuffing and gravy tips) for the perfect Diestel Family Turkey Ranch roast turkey.
1. Prep: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove thawed turkey from the bag. After removing the neck and giblets from the body cavities, rinse the bird with cold water. Pat turkey dry with a paper towel. If you choose to stuff your bird, this would be the time to do so.
2. Rub: Rub turkey exterior with a blend of your favorite herbs and spices or with a paste made from the following ingredients: 4 tablespoons oil (melted butter, margarine, olive oil, etc.); 4 teaspoons salt, or to taste; 2 teaspoons paprika. Place turkey in an open roasting pan, breast side up. Cover bottom of pan with approximately 2 cups water or broth. Place your beautiful turkey in the oven.
3. Roast: Place turkey in preheated oven. Check internal temperature throughout the roasting time and be careful not to over-roast. The internal temperature typically increases more rapidly during the last half of roasting. No need to turn the bird while roasting, as it will brown to a rich, golden color. A foil tent can be placed loosely over the turkey during the last hour of roasting to prevent over-browning. For truly marvelous gravy, heat (do not boil) 1 cup white wine. Pour this over your turkey halfway through the roasting time. When the turkey reaches desired internal temperature (165 – 170 degrees), remove it from the oven. Cover and let stand for at least 15 minutes before carving. For a stuffed 14- to 16-pound turkey, roast for approximately 3¼ – 3½ hours. Suggested roasting times may vary. For a useful guide, visit www.diestelturkey.com and refer to the Diestel Weight/Roasting Time Chart (click “Roasting Instructions”).
Old-Fashioned Turkey Gravy
Skim and strain freshly roasted turkey drippings into a saucepan over medium heat. If you’re short on drippings, add 1 – 2 cups water or broth back into your roasting pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits. Strain and incorporate into your drippings. Whisking constantly, gradually add drippings to a roux (butter cooked with flour). Reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently to thicken the gravy and allow the flavors to meld. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Savory Herb Stuffing
2 medium sweet onions
5 stalks celery
7 sprigs parsley
1 7½-ounce bag of unseasoned stuffing cubes (approximately 8 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ packet herb seasoning (approximately 1 teaspoon, included with the stuffing cubes), or season to taste with sage, savory, thyme, and pepper
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
¾ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Finely chop onions, celery, and parsley. Mix with bread cubes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil. Toss to mix. Add seasonings and mix thoroughly. Pat neck and body cavities of turkey until thoroughly dry. Stuff loosely with mixture — never pack.
Hint: Leftover stuffing can be baked in a covered, greased dish at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. To serve, toss together with stuffing roasted in bird.
From the November/December 2015 issue.