The turkey, stuffing, and gravy all rely on the characteristic flavor of Muscat. When Lydia Shire cooks birds, especially big birds and wild birds, she uses a richly flavored seasoned butter and an injector to keep the breast and leg meat moist.
Chef Holiday Recipes Made EasyPlus: Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide
1 cup Muscat
2 sage leaves
1 Scotch bonnet chile, halved
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
One 20-pound fresh turkey at room temperature, neck and giblets reserved for stock
In a small saucepan, simmer the Muscat with the sage leaves, chile, and a large pinch of salt until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain into a heatproof bowl. Let cool slightly, then whisk in the butter. Fill an injector with the Muscat butter.
Preheat the oven to 325°. Wipe the turkey completely dry and season it well inside and out with salt and pepper. Fill the central cavity with about 6 cups of the stuffing; seal the cavity with bamboo skewers. Fill the neck cavity with about 3 cups of the stuffing, cover with the skin and skewer shut. Put the remaining stuffing in a large baking dish and set aside.
Inject the Muscat butter deep into the thighs and breast of the turkey. Put the bird in a large roasting bag and set it in a large roasting pan. Scatter the onions around the turkey in the bag and add the steeped figs and their liquid, the thyme, and the sage. Pour 6 tablespoons of the melted butter over the turkey breast. Dip the fig leaves in the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter and press them onto the bird. Seal the bag.
Roast the turkey for about 3 hours, or until it is just cooked through. About 25 minutes before the turkey is done, bake the dish of stuffing until heated through.
Remove the turkey from the oven and open the bag carefully; there will be a lot of accumulated juices in it. Transfer the turkey, onions, and figs to a platter; cover loosely with foil and keep warm.
Pour all the pan juices into a large saucepan and skim off the fat. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Put the flour in a medium bowl and gradually whisk in the Rich Turkey Stock until smooth. Whisk this slurry into the juices in the saucepan and simmer, whisking frequently, until thickened. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the gravy until flavorful, about 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and reserved giblets and season with salt and pepper. Carve the turkey at the table and serve warm, with the stuffing and gravy.
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