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My apologies to you if you are getting tired of pomegranate related recipes.  Because of the POM Wonderful Dinner Party extravaganza I ended up changing posting schedules to make Pomegranate Week 2010 to last week.  Believe or not this recipe has been waiting for a year to be published! I made this turkey last year to get myself slightly ahead this year because I was planning on actually posting two turkey recipes.  The turkey prices came down after Thanksgiving and it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the sale prices and get myself ahead! Well, things kinda got busy in the past month and here we are now with time to only post one turkey recipe.

When it comes to turkey preparation people find their own best method to roast it. Some baste, some don’t. Some cook the turkey in a large pan, some on a rack. Some cook it breast down, some cook it breast up. Through practice and experience I have come to the conclusion that for me the first  important step in turkey making is Brining.

Second, roasting a turkey is a love process, what I mean by that is that I like to baby and love it for all the hours that it roasts.  I have found that it is best to first roast the turkey on high for half hour and then reduce the temperature.  What I mean when I say baby it and love it, is basically basting often during the roasting period. In my humble opinion basting adds a lot of moisture and flavor to the bird.

There are two parts to this recipe the glaze and the turkey itself. To get ahead of the game you can actually make the glaze ahead of time the day before.

Ingredients

Turkey

1 turkey (size of your choice)
1 onion
3-5 cloves of garlic
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery
2-3 springs of thyme
1-2 tbsp butter
salt
cooking spray

Pomegranate & Port Glaze

4 tbsp butter
1 medium red onion
1 cup port
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup chicken stock
salt & pepper

Saute onion in butter on medium heat until translucent.

Add port.

Add pomegranate juice and let reduce by 2/3.  Add chicken stock and further reduce by half. Season with salt and pepper.

Strain the the sauce. If you are making this sauce the day or night before, just let the sauce cool down and store in the fridge.

When ready to use bring sauce back to a boil. Remove from heat and finish with 2 tablespoons of butter.

Now the turkey!!!

Remove turkey from brine and rinse off.  Note that I added pomegranate juice to this turkey’s brine. Pat dry all over.

For this turkey I decided to not stuff it with stuffing.  You can either add the stuffing of your choice or just add aromatics in the cavity.  As far as aromatics go I used onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and thyme. If your celery has leaves, by all means add it!!

Before placing stuffing or the aromatics, make sure to salt the cavity.

Add aromatics to the cavity.

Truss your turkey.

Rub butter all over turkey.

Season turkey with salt.

Spray rack with oil.

Add turkey breast side up.

Carefully read the instructions on the turkey package to determine how long it needs to be cooked.

Each package has suggested cooking times. Also, remember if you are going to have stuffing in your turkey, the cooking time will be longer.

Initially roast turkey at 400° for 1/2 hour.  Take the turkey out.

Quickly brush generously all over with glaze. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and roast according to your package’s time instruction until the internal temperature reaches 160°.

As I mentioned before, I like to baste my turkey often during the hours that it roasts. I brushed on the glaze on this turkey every half hour or so.  It is probably best to heat up the glaze slightly just before applying  it each time so that it goes on easier. Leaving it on the stove with the heat coming from the oven will do the trick!

I absolutely loved the way the color of the turkey’s skin changed as the hours went by and more glaze was applied. In the end the skin was crisp and delicious!

Serve your Pomegranate & Port Glazed Turkey with either regular gravy or Pomegranate Gravy!!

Persian Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Pumpkin Khoresht
Rice Stuffing
Brussels Sprouts Persian Style
Beet & Pomegranate Salad
Butternut Squash & Prune Khoresht

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