Lemon-Thyme Split-Roasted Turkey
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
2 lemons, cut into quarters
1 stalk celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 fresh thyme sprigs
8 cloves garlic
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup snipped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (1 medium)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 8 pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed if frozen
Position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large roasting pan combine onions, lemons, celery, thyme sprigs, and garlic; set aside.
In a medium bowl combine butter, snipped thyme, lemon peel, lemon juice, shallot, oil, salt, and pepper; set aside.
Remove neck and giblets from turkey; discard. Rinse turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, make a lengthwise cut down one side of the backbone, starting from the neck end. Repeat on the other side of the backbone. Remove and discard backbone. Turn turkey, cut side down. Flatten turkey as much as possible with your hands. Cut off and discard tips of wings. Using kitchen shears or a large sharp knife, carefully cut through the entire breastbone, creating two equal halves.
Rub herb-butter mixture over turkey on all sides, massaging some of the mixture underneath the skin. Place turkey halves, skin sides up, on top of vegetables in roasting pan. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle. The thermometer should not touch bone.
Roast, uncovered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the thermometer registers 175 degrees F. (The juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.) Remove from oven. Cover turkey halves with foil; let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Discard vegetables in roasting pan.
From the Test Kitchen
For more citrus flavor, use a combination of lemons, limes, and oranges in the roasting pan. Low on fresh thyme? Use half the amount of fresh rosemary, sage, or tarragon instead.
HONEY – GLAZED NEW POTATOES
2 1/2 lbs. new potatoes, quartered
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. water
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
In pan cover potatoes with salted water. Cook until tender, drain. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in water, honey, salt and pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook 1 layer of potatoes 10 to 12 minutes or until brown. Transfer to serving dish and cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 cups thinly sliced onion
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
8 carrots (about 1-1/4 lb.)
1 sweet potato
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
For caramelized onions, in a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add sliced onion, sugar, and pepper; reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring twice. Add ginger. Cook, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes more or until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Divide in half.
Meanwhile, peel carrots and sweet potato and cut in 1-inch pieces. In large saucepan or Dutch oven combine broth, carrots, and sweet potato. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 40 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Add half of the caramelized onions. Puree until nearly smooth with handheld blender or process 2 cups at a time in a food processor. Add cream; heat through. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper. Top with remaining caramelized onions. Makes 12 (3/4-cup) side-dish servings.