FODMAP Friendly Thanksgiving & Christmas Recipe – Spatchcocked Turkey & Gravy

Fructose Friendly Christmas Recipe - Turkey and Gravy

This post is a follow up to the previous post, in which I showed you a low FODMAP cornbread stuffing. Or dressing, depending on which part of the US you come from. Speaking as an Aussie, I always called it stuffing, because it was generally stuffed up the bird’s you know where. But anyway…

This is the turkey that we served alongside that stuffing – which wasn’t stuffed into the bird because Alton Brown told us (in the season 1 special of Good Eats, Romancing the Bird) that that increases mass, thus cooking time, leading to dry meat – and we always do what AB tells us to. He hasn’t failed us yet.

Even though we cooked this turkey as a belated Thanksgiving dinner, it would of course work well for a Christmas turkey. This was the first turkey that either Evgeny or I had dealt with, other than the sandwich meat type shaved turkey – we don’t have Thanksgiving in Australia and Christmas is during summer, so most sane people either do seafood (cooks very quickly) or buy a leg of ham from the supermarket and have cold cuts of meat instead.

Notes:

  1. These guidelines are relevant to a 13-15 lb/5.5-7 kg turkey (ours was 13.55 lb), once it has been thawed. Follow the thawing guideline provided when you purchase the bird.
  2. Make sure your turkey isn’t pre-basted or injected with any fillers that contain onion and garlic – or anything else you are sensitive to.
  3. Remove the giblets and the neck from the cavity inside the turkey and keep them. They make a fantastic stock, which can be made ahead of time, to use in the corn bread stuffing.
  4. Green leek tips are low FODMAP.

Roast Turkey

  • 1 x 13-15 lb turkey – fresh, thawed from frozen… basically ready to cook.
  • 4 large sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups green leek tips, roughly chopped
  • 1 big bunch of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

Spatchcock the turkey. I found a great slide show with detailed instructions here, because we didn’t take photos of this stage – messy hands and all.

  1. Place the turkey on a chopping board, with the breasts down and the spine up. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity if they are still in there.
  2. Using kitchen shears, or a strong knife, cut along each side of the spine and remove it completely – place it with the neck and giblets to make stock later on.
  3. If you need to cut the turkey in half to fit in your roasting pan, like we did, you need to remove the keel bone (a bird’s version of a sternum). Leave the bird on it’s front and find the keel, which runs centrally between the two breast sections. Use a sharp fillet blade to slice along the membrane on either side of the keel bone (cartilage, really) and pry it out with your fingers. It’s tricky but necessary for us.
  4. Flip the bird over onto what was its back and press down HARD on the breast meat. If you didn’t remove the keel bone cartilage, you will hear some loud cracks as the ribs break. If you struggle to remove the keel bone cartilage, this might help to loosen it a little and make the removal easier. At any rate, this step is necessary to flatten the bird, if you didn’t remove the keel.
  5. Your turkey is now spatchcocked and ready to bake.

Preheat your oven to 475 F/250 C.

Remove the wire rack out of your roasting pan (ours is flat, yours might be V-shaped). in the base of the pan, evenly spread the chunks of carrot, green leek tips, celery and most of the rosemary. Replace the wire rack and lay the turkey down, with the skin facing up. Tuck in the wing tips and close up the legs. Rub the olive oil into the skin and shove the remaining sprigs of rosemary into any crevices, then lightly sprinkle with salt. Please excuse the toothpicks in the following photo, we had to keep the skin in place after we had cut the turkey in two.

Let it sit until the oven has heated fully, as the super high temperature is going to brown and crisp the skin before you reduce the temperature to 180 C to complete cooking the turkey.

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Before you put it in the oven, insert a meat thermometer into the breast; make sure that it is inserted into flesh and not pressing up against any bones, or the temperature will be incorrect.

Put the turkey into the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 475 F/250 C. The turkey should become a nice shade of golden brown in that time. Reduce the temperature to 350 F/180 C and bake for another 30 minutes, at which point you can open the oven door quickly and check the temperature. The breast is done at 161 F/72 C and the leg is done when it reaches 180 F/82 C (thanks, AB). If you have a fancy digital probe thermometer with an alarm option, set it to the breast temperature and the turkey is done when it goes off… if not, you need to do what we do and take quick peaks at the dial. If you have an oven with a glass door, that is fantastic – we don’t.

All up our turkey took 1 hour and 30 minutes for the breast meat to reach 161 F, by which time the thighs had also reached 180 F. Remove the turkey form the oven and loosely cover with foil and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before carving it. The slide show that I linked to above also has carving instructions.

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Turkey Gravy

  • The drippings from the roasting pan.
  • 1/2 cup turkey stock (that you made with the neck and giblets) or any FF chicken or veg stock – beef would be too strong here
  • 1/4 cup GF plain flour
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

If you have a decent roasting pan, your life will be a lot easier. Ours… well, it’s from Ikea. Let’s just leave it at that.

Once you have removed the roasting pan from the oven and removed the turkey to a chopping board, while you are letting the turkey “sit” for 20 to 30 minutes, put the roasting pan back on the stove top (you will probably need to span two elements) and deglaze the pan with the 1/2 cup of stock. It should only take a minute or two. Then strain the mixture into a measuring jug (makes pouring it out later easier) and place it in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to get the fats to congeal at the top.

Once the fats have started to rise to the top, remove some (not all, as they do add some flavour) of the fat and discard. In a separate saucepan, make a roux with the butter and flour – melt the butter and flour together and whisk until smooth – before adding in the remainder of the turkey drippings/stock mix and stirring until it has thickened unto a gravy-like consistency. If it isn’t thickening and you want to add in more flour, dissolve 1 tbsp. of corn starch or GF plain flour in 1 tbsp. of water and then add it into the gravy; if you just tip in flour, it will become lumpy and you will need to do a lot of whisking to smooth it out again.

Pour into a gravy boat and serve alongside the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and any other side dishes you and your guests have made.

May I suggest one of these beauties for the end of the night?

Merry Christmas (or happy whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year) to all of you, I hope you manage to stay low FODMAP – or that any indulgences aren’t too disasterous 🙂

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