Recipe: Twin Oaks Roast Turkey with Anchovies

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Trust me when I say the anchovies make this turkey wonderful! There is no trace of them when it is done.

Makes 14 servings
For the turkey
    • 16-18 lb. turkey
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 tbls. minced garlic
    • 2 tbls. minced basil
    • 1 tbls. minced thyme
    • 2 tbls minced sage
    • 2 tbls. cracked black pepper
    • 1 tbls. sea salt
    • 2 oz. anchovy filets
    • 1 cup red wine
    • 1 cup water

For the turkey cavity
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 2 medium peeled onions
    • 4 ribs celery

For dark roux
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 6 tbls. flour

For the Creole gravy
    • 4 tbls. cornstarch
    • 2 cups water
    • Save the turkey drippings

Remove neck and giblets from the turkey. Rinse turkey and pat dry. Place turkey in deep roasting pan. Place giblets around it, as they will enhance the gravy flavor. Stuff the cavity with the garlic, quartered onion, and sliced celery.

Melt the butter in small saucepan. Mix together the butter, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire. Rub the turkey well with this mixture. Take the anchovy filets and place on top of the turkey making a design. Trust me when I say the anchovies make this turkey wonderful! There is no trace of them when it is done.

Add the water and wine then cover with two sheets of aluminum foil, one for each side of the roaster, leaving a 1/4 inch opening down the center.

Baking options:
225 degrees- 7 hours (no need to baste) or
350 degrees- 3 hours for 15 lbs. Add 11 minutes per pound after that, and baste every hour.

Pierce thigh of Turkey with skewer to check for doneness. Skewer should go in easily and juices should run clear, not pink.

While turkey is cooking, make your roux: combine oil and flour in a cast iron skillet over medium heat to make a dark roux. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until chocolate brown. Remove from skillet and put into metal bowl. Once the roux gets to the proper color it can burn very fast. It is essential that you cool it in another container.

Remove the turkey from the oven and place on a platter to rest. Pour drippings into a saucepan.

Stir in the 4 tbls. of cornstarch into the two cups of water add to the drippings. Bring to boil and skim off fat. Add 1/4 cup of the dark roux and cook slowly for 20 minutes until gravy thickens. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Strain the gravy and serve.

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Regina Charboneau is the owner of Twin Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Natchez, Mississippi. She is the author of Regina's Table at Twin Oaks. More

Regina Charboneau is the owner of Twin Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Natchez, Mississippi. She is the author of two cookbooks: A Collection of Seasonal Menus & Recipes from Regina's Kitchen and Regina's Table at Twin Oaks.
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