Roasted Turkey


Roasted turkey

Thanksgiving is a planned-ahead holiday dinner with a turkey being the superstar.The first recipe came from my mother-in-law that has been used for many many years.Turkey always comes out tender,moist,and full of flavor.It requires minimum ingredients and very easy roasting method.I like to make this turkey stuffed with Buckwheat(grechka) or rice and mushrooms.My personal pick is buckwheat.

Second recipe is adapted from Anne Burrell ( turkey is brined in a herby salty solution for 3 days.Then the turkey is rubbed with herby butter and left uncovered in the fridge for another day/night.So it requires 4 days in advance to prepare.It is roasted uncovered and requires basting every 30 minutes.The skin comes out very browned and crispy.The pan juices are used to make a delicious gravy.

Recipe #1-

1 turkey (12-15 lbs)

2-3 garlic bulbs peeled and crushed through garlic press + 1 peeled(not crushed)

1 1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons black pepper

1 oven bag(recommended) or foil.


2 cups rice or buckwheat

1 onion finely chopped

1 carrot grated

1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

oil for sautéing

salt and pepper.



Rinse and pat dry turkey with paper towel.

Combine mayonaisse,garlic,salt and pepper  a bowl.

Carefully separate the skin on breast and thighs.Make little slits in the turkey breast (going under  the skin)Insert garlic cloves from one garlic into the breast.

Apply garlic-mayo mixture under the skin,inside and all over the turkey.

Prepare stuffing-

Cook rice or buckwheat halfway with 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Heat oil in a skillet or sauté pan.Add onions and carrots.Sauté until onions are soft.Transfer onions and carrots from skillet to rice/buckwheat.

Add a little oil to the skillet.Throw in mushrooms.Saute them until all liquid is absorbed.Transfer  mushrooms to rice/buckwheat.

Mix rice/buckwheat with mushrooms,onions,carrots and black pepper.

Stuff turkey with rice/buckwheat stuffing inside including filling in the space on the leg/thigh.

Tie the turkey legs together with cooking twine.

Place the turkey in a oven bag ,then on the roasting pan.

Refrigerate for 3 days.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.Roast the turkey for 30-40 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees.

Roast turkey for approximately 3 – 3 1/2 hours. Pour pan juices all over the turkey and stuffing.Strain pan juices,separate the fat and use the juices to make gravy if


*In case you need to expedite marinating process,cut little slits all over turkey.Marinate 24-48 hours.


Recipe #2-

3/4 cup kosher salt

1/3 cup sugar

2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 whole garlic bulb, cut in half equatorially

1/2 bunch of fresh rosemary

1/2 bunch of fresh sage

2 tablespoons coriander seed

2 tablespoons fennel seed

6 bay leaves

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper


1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped

1/2 bunch of fresh sage, leaves finely chopped

Kosher salt

2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice

4 cloves garlic, smashed

1 thyme bundle

3 bay leaves

2 quarts chicken stock

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups dry white wine



  1. In a container large enough to accommodate all the ingredients including the turkey, combine 2 gallons water with the salt, sugar, onions, carrots, celery,garlic, rosemary, sage, coriander seed, fennel seed, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Submerge the turkey in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days.


  1. The night before you are planning to roast the bird, remove it from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, rosemary, sage, and some salt. Using your fingers, carefully work your way under the skin of the turkey to separate it from the breasts and legs.
  3. Massage the herb butter under the skin of the breast and legs, then all over the outside of the bird as well.
  4. Tie the turkey’s legs together with cooking twine.
  5. In the bottom of your roasting pan, for the gravy, combine the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme bundle, and bay leaves. Season with salt.
  6. Place the turkey on top of the veggies and put in the fridge overnight uncovered.This allows the skin of the turkey to dry out and creates a gorgeous, brown, crispy skin.
  7. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  8. Pour 2 cups of the chicken stock into the roasting pan and put the turkey in the hot oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the turkey becomes beautifully browned.
  9. Reduce the heat to 350°F. Baste the turkey with the pan juices and rotate the pan every 30 minutes for the remainder of the cooking time. Think 17 minutes per pound .(About 3 – 3 1/2 hours for 15 lbs.)
  10. If the turkey starts to get too brown, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. . Transfer turkey  to a rimmed baking sheet, cover it loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for at least 30 minutes.


  1. Using a mesh strainer, strain the veggies out of the cooking liquid over a large bowl and allow the fat to rise to the top of the cooking liquid. Discard the veggies. Save the roasting pan, but don’t wash it — you still need it.
  2. Skim the fat off the surface of the cooking liquid. Place the roasting pan directly on a burner, add the skimmed fat to the pan, and bring it to medium heat.
  3. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture until it has the consistency of wet sand. Whisk in the wine and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the reserved cooking juices and the remaining chicken stock to the flour mixture. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer . Cook until the mixture is the consistency of thick gravy, about 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt if needed.
  5. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy and mashed potatoes.



Pumpkin Brown Rice

pumpkin brown rice

pumpkin brown rice

Very nutritious and delicious hearty brown rice cooked with pumpkin, yields to creamy risotto like results.You can substitute pumpkin with butternut or acorn squash,or even pureed pumpkin.Perfect side dish for upcoming holiday .

Pumpkin Brown Rice


  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 1/2 cup diced pumpkin,butternut or acorn squash
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (optional)
  • salt to taste


  1. Heat sauté pan on medium heat.
  2. Add olive oil and butter.
  3. Add onions,and sauté them until soft and slightly caramelized.
  4. Throw in pumpkin/butternut squash/or acorn squash.
  5. Add cumin if preferred .
  6. Add Rice and salt.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Add chicken/vegetable stock.
  9. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil.
  10. When starts to boil,reduce heat to low and cook for about 40-45 minutes.
  11. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes to absorb liquid.
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