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Roast Turkey Recipe from Wolfgang Puck


Wolf Gang Puck was born in Sankt Veit an der Glan, Carinthia, Austria. He learned to cook from his mother, who was a pastry chef. He took the surname of his stepfather, Josef Puck, after his mother remarried. The marriage produced two younger sisters and a younger brother for Wolfgang.

His first job was at the restaurant La Tour in Indianapolis, where he worked from 1973 to 1975. In 1975, Wolfgang came to Los Angeles and very quickly garnered the attention of the Hollywood elite as chef of Ma Maison in West Hollywood.

Puck has received many honors, including the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef in 1991 and 1998. His flagship restaruant Spago, earned the James Beard Foundation Award for Restaurant of the Year in 1994 and later was awarded two Michelin Stars.


Brined, Roasted Turkey with Pan Gravy
Serves 8


The Brine
1 gallon water
1 pound kosher salt
½ cup cracked black peppercorns
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
12 bay leaves
3 cups honey
3 cups maple syrup

The Turkey
1 (10-pound) whole fresh turkey, giblets and neck removed and reserved for stock
1 stick butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 apples, cored and quartered
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 sprigs sage
2 sprigs rosemary
Olive oil for drizzling

The Turkey Stock

Giblets and neck from 1 turkey
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup port wine
1 cup roughly chopped onions
½ cup roughly chopped carrots
½ cup roughly chopped celery
2 sprigs rosemary
5 peppercorns
Water to cover

The Pan Gravy
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onions
½ cup white wine
½ cup Madeira wine
4 cups turkey stock (see above recipe)
1 sprig thyme
2 sprigs parsley
Beurre manié (4 tablespoons room-temperature butter mashed together with 4 tablespoons flour to form a smooth paste)
Freshly ground black pepper


The day before you plan to roast the turkey, make the brine: In a stockpot, bring the water, salt, black peppercorns, cloves, ginger, and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and stir in the honey and maple syrup until well blended. Turn off the heat and let the brine cool to room temperature.

Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water. Immerse the turkey completely in the brine, either in the stockpot or a clean basin large enough to hold the turkey, and submerge it completely. Place a weight on top of the turkey to hold it down beneath the brine’s surface. Refrigerate and leave the turkey in the brine for at least four hours or as long as overnight.

When ready to roast the turkey, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a shallow roasting pan, place the carrots, celery, and onions for the gravy. Remove the turkey from brine.

In a mixing bowl, mash the butter together with the garlic, chopped sage, and chopped rosemary. Inserting your hands through the bird’s neck opening, gently loosen the skin from the flesh above the breast. Rub the butter mixture evenly under the skin. Insert the apples, onions, and whole sage and rosemary sprigs into the cavity of the turkey.

Place the turkey on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan, breast side up. Tuck the wings back and under the turkey. Using kitchen twine, tie the ends of the drumsticks together to make a compact shape for a more attractive presentation. Drizzle the turkey with olive oil and rub it into the skin.

Transfer the turkey to the preheated oven and roast it until the breast meat registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird (not touching bone), about 2½ hours. If the skin appears to be browning too quickly, tent the turkey with a sheet of aluminum foil.

While the turkey is roasting, prepare the turkey stock: Heat a saucepan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and heat. Add the neck and giblets and sauté until evenly browned, about seven minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the port, and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the port is almost completely evaporated, about ten minutes. Add the carrots, onions, celery, rosemary, and peppercorns. Cover with cold water by four inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for two hours, adding a little more water if necessary to keep the ingredients covered. Skim any scum that rises to the surface of the stock and discard. Strain the stock. Use immediately, or cool and refrigerate for up to four days.

When the turkey is done, transfer it to a platter and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving, tenting it with foil.

Meanwhile, prepare the pan gravy: Tilt the roasting pan and, with a large basting spoon, skim as much fat as possible off the juices. Place the pan on two burners on top of the stove, set to medium heat. Add the white wine and Madeira to the pan and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits. Continue boiling until the liquid has reduced by three quarters, seven to ten minutes. Add the turkey stock, thyme, and parsley. Bring to a boil and strain into a saucepan. Bring back to a boil, skim, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Whisk in the beurre manié until well incorporated and continue to cook until the gravy has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bon appétit from El Toro Gourmet Meats in Lake Forest, CA

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