(12 pound) fresh turkey
2 onions cut into wedges
3 carrots peeled and cut into 6-inch lengths
3 stalks celery cut into 6-inch lengths
3 parsnips peeled and cut into 6-inch lengths
2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
1 quart Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium
chicken broth skimmed of fat
3 tablespoons red currant jelly
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cognac
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse turkey breast; pat dry. Rub breast with salt and pepper.
- Arrange vegetables in a large, heavy roasting pan, making sure that the vegetables are more or less flat in the bottom of the pan.
- Truss legs together with kitchen twine, if desired. Rub the bird with butter, and place on bed of vegetables in roasting pan.
- Roast turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, loosely cover bird with an aluminum-foil tent, if necessary, and continue roasting, basting every half hour with the juices in the pan.
- Meanwhile, slice pomegranates in half crosswise. Using a hand-held wooden lemon reamer or manual juicer, collect the juice in a small bowl. Strain juice through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Combine juice and 1 cup of the stock in a small saucepan. Cook over high heat until mixture is reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Stir in currant jelly. Set aside.
- When a meat thermometer placed between breast and thigh reads 170 degrees, remove turkey from oven (the total cooking time to this point should be about 3 hours and 15 minutes). Discard aluminum-foil tent, and brush bird evenly and smoothly with pomegranate reduction. Lower temperature to 325 degrees, return bird to oven, and continue roasting for 5 minutes. Brush again with pomegranate reduction, and roast for 5 to 10 minutes more. Do not allow glaze to burn.
- Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and transfer to serving plate. Let turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving.
- Remove vegetables from roasting pan with a slotted spoon, transfer to a food processor, and process until smooth.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings in pan, reserving juices in a fat separator or Pyrex measuring cup; discard fat that rises to the top. Place pan over medium-low heat, and add flour, working it in with a wooden spoon until mixture is smooth. Add 3 tablespoons of the pureed cooking vegetables to pan, and stir until smooth. (Remaining puree can be served as an additional side dish or discarded.)
- Add cognac to pan, and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any particles on the bottom. Continue cooking slowly over medium-low heat. Stir constantly while adding degreased pan juices and the remaining 3 cups stock. Raise heat to medium high, and cook until the gravy thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in a gravy boat alongside turkey.
Yield: 10 servings