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Citrus-Scented Roast Turkey

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I have fond memories of the big day on the island. When we all gathered, as we did every year, it was a sight to behold. We would have such a wonderful day that no one went home until late in the evening. By that time I had made the turkey soup, so everyone ate again before they left.

Here is one of my favorite turkey recipes for you to enjoy with your family this holiday season.

Citrus-Scented Roast Turkey
Martha Greenlaw, Recipes From a Very Small Island

1  10-12 pound turkey, at room temperature
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 onion, quartered
1 orange, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
3 flat-leaf parsley stems
1 bay leaf
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup homemade or canned chicken stock

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°. Oil a V-shaped rack and set it in a roasting pan.

Remove the gizzard and heart from the turkey and discard or reserve for another use. Rinse the turkey with cold water, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Put the celery, onion, orange, lemon, parsley stems, and bay leaf in the cavity. Rub the outside of the bird with the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place on the rack in the pan, breast side down, and roast for 40 minutes, basting with the pan juices after 20 minutes. Turn the breast right side up and add the stock to the pan. Reduce the heat to 325° and continue to roast for 2½ to 3¼ hours longer, basting every 15 to 20 minutes with the pan juices, until the turkey is golden and cooked through.

Start testing for doneness after 2 hours; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast away from the bone should read 160°. Alternatively, insert it into the thickest part of the thigh and it should read 170°. The juices will run clear and the legs will feel loose when wiggled.

Let the turkey rest for about 30 minutes before removing the vegetables and fruit from the cavity. Carve the turkey and serve with stuffing. (Stuffing recipe to follow on tomorrow’s blog).

Serves 10-12.

Martha Greenlaw is a cookbook author, MF&L columnist, and Isle au Haut resident.

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