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Thread: Martha's cheesecloth turkey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    52

    Martha's cheesecloth turkey

    For some reason, I can't get onto Martha Stewart's website. A few years back we made her butter-soaked cheesecloth covered roasted turkey (I'm sure thats not the official name of it!) and we want to make it again this year. It was really good. (excuse me, a good thing). I looked in the search forums but found nothing remotely close. Does anyone have this recipe?
    thanks!!
    amy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    172

    Wink Here you go!

    Perfect Roast Turkey

    Serves 12 to 14
    If your roasting pan only fits sideways in the oven, turn the pan every hour so the turkey cooks and browns evenly. For step-by-step photos, see our Roast Turkey and Gravy feature.

    1 twenty- to-twenty-one-pound fresh whole turkey, giblets and neck removed from cavity and reserved
    1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 bottle 750-ml dry white wine
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    Classic Stuffing
    1 cup dry red or white wine, for gravy (optional)
    Giblet Stock

    1. Rinse turkey with cool water, and dry with paper towels. Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature.

    2. Place rack on lowest level in oven. Heat oven to 450. Combine melted butter and white wine in a bowl. Fold a large piece of cheesecloth into quarters and cut it into a 17-inch, four-layer square. Immerse cheesecloth in the butter and wine; let soak.

    3. Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a heavy metal roasting pan. If the turkey comes with a pop-up timer, remove it; an instant-read thermometer is a much more accurate indication of doneness. Fold wing tips under turkey. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey. Fill large cavity and neck cavity loosely with as much stuffing as they hold comfortably; do not pack tightly. (Cook remaining stuffing in a buttered baking dish for 45 minutes at 375.) Tie legs together loosely with kitchen string (a bow will be easy to untie later). Fold neck flap under, and secure with toothpicks. Rub turkey with the softened butter, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper.

    4. Lift cheesecloth out of liquid, and squeeze it slightly, leaving it very damp. Spread it evenly over the breast and about halfway down the sides of the turkey; it can cover some of the leg area. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Cook for 30 minutes. Using a pastry brush, baste cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with butter and wine. Reduce oven temperature to 350, and continue to cook for 2 1/2 more hours, basting every 30 minutes and watching pan juices; if the pan gets too full, spoon out juices, reserving them for gravy.

    5. After this third hour of cooking, carefully remove and discard cheesecloth. Turn roasting pan so that the breast is facing the back of the oven. Baste turkey with pan juices. If there are not enough juices, continue to use butter and wine. The skin gets fragile as it browns, so baste carefully. Cook 1 more hour, basting after 30 minutes.

    6. After this fourth hour of cooking, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Do not poke into a bone. The temperature should reach 180 (stuffing should be between 140 and 160) and the turkey should be golden brown. The breast does not need to be checked for temperature. If legs are not yet fully cooked, baste turkey, return to oven, and cook another 20 to 30 minutes.

    7. When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter, and let rest for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Pour all the pan juices into a glass measuring cup. Let stand until grease rises to the surface, about 10 minutes, then skim it off. Meanwhile, place roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup dry red or white wine, or water, to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the pan until liquid boils and all the crisp bits are unstuck from pan. Add giblet stock to pan. Stir well, and bring back to a boil. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the defatted pan juices, and cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes more. You will have about 2 1/2 cups of gravy. Season to taste, strain into a warm gravy boat, and serve with turkey.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    6,903

    OK, I'll bite...

    What does the cheesecloth do? Is it really worth all that extra prep?

    I'd love to hear a review...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    172
    I've made this before several times and it always has come out wonderfully. I'm not totally sure what the cheesecloth is for except that maybe it's sort of a self-basting kind of thing. Also, it keeps the skin from overbrowning.

    I've never found it to be that much extra work at all.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    52
    Thanks, Janet!!

    It really does look like an involved process but isnt too bad. Our turkey ended up perfectly browned and moist. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has tried it, too.

    amy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    L.A., CA
    Posts
    265
    SHe just had this on Food Network like 2 nights ago.

    Apparantly she soaks cheesecloth in a hevay butter and white wine substance and lies it on top of the bird. Then she bastes about every 30 minutes. About an hour before she's done she removes it and covers any close to too well done areas with foil.

    I grew up in the Tent till half cooked then untent. I rarely baste. She seemed pretty confident that this would make the bird look beautiful. I must say it looked pretty good but I'm not sure I'd do that.
    In the beginning, God created man, but seeing him so feeble, He gave him a dog

  7. #7
    My hubby is the turkey-man on Thanksgiving (I take care of all the side dishes) and he's done Martha's Perfect Roast Turkey method for the last 2 or 3 Thanksgivings. Last year it was truly perfect.

    My opinion is that there is no ONE way to cook a turkey well - there are endless ways - this is just the method that we picked and it worked for us. Mmmm...can't wait!

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