1 12 lb(s) young turkey (about 5.5 kg)
8 oz diced pancetta (240 g)
8 large shallots, sliced lengthwise
2 Tbsp butter (30 ml)
sprigs of thyme, whole and chopped
sprigs of sage, whole and chopped
sprigs of rosemary, whole and chopped
¼ cup sugar (60 ml)
1 ½ Tbsp sherry vinegar (22 ml)
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Butter, for rubbing the outside of turkey
Sprigs of herbs, for garnish, optional
Fresh Herb Gravy
1 cup dry white wine (250 ml)
3 Tbsp cornstarch (45 ml)
½ cup cold water (125 ml)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Add pancetta to medium saute pan over medium heat. Sautee until fat begins to render, about 4 minutes. Remove pancetta and reserve.
3. To the same pan over medium heat, add butter, shallots and chopped herbs. Saute shallots until translucent, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and continue to saute shallots 2 more minutes or until lightly browned. Add the vinegar and remove from heat and stir. Season with freshly ground pepper. Combine shallots with pancetta. Let cool to room temperature.
4. Remove giblets and turkey neck from turkey cavity. For additional flavour to pan drippings roast turkey neck in roasting pan with turkey. Remove any pockets of fat from bird cavity. Thoroughly rinse with cold water. Pat turkey dry with paper towel.
5. Run your hands gently between skin and meat of the turkey breast and legs to separate skin from meat. Do so carefully to prevent the skin from tearing. Gently slide about ½ of the shallot mixture and some fresh chopped herbs between skin and meat of the breast and legs.
6. Rub bird with butter and season with salt and pepper. Fill bird cavity with remaining shallot mixture and whole sprigs of herbs. Truss legs together with butcher’s twine to maintain shape while roasting.
7. Roast bird, breast side up, in a large, lightly oiled roasting pan on the lower portion of oven at 350 degrees F. for first 30 minutes then reduce heat to 325 degrees F. Continue to roast, basting often, until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 180 degrees F. about 2 to 2 ½ hours. Remove remaining shallot mixture from cavity of turkey and place in roasting pan. Transfer turkey to serving platter. Cover loosely with foil and keep warm and let rest 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Garnish platter with fresh sprigs of herbs if desired. Make gravy while turkey is resting.
Fresh Herb Gravy
1. Place roasting pan with pan drippings and shallot mixture over medium heat on stovetop. Add white wine. Scrape pan drippings on the bottom of the pan to incorporate into wine. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced slightly, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir cornstarch into ½ cup cold water until blended and pour into roasting pan. Whisk briskly over medium heat until bubbling and slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and serve gravy with turkey.