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Roasted Turkey with a Balsamic & Maple Rub

*Roasted Turkey with a Balsamic & Maple Rub*
Serves 10 to 14

A moist and deliciously different turkey.  This rub works wonderfully  with a roast chicken as well.

one 5-7kg Turkey, rinsed and
patted dry with paper toweling

For the rub:
2 shallots, peeled and minced
3 TBS pure Maple Syrup
1 TBS Balsamic Glaze (a thick mixture created by boilig
Balsamic vinegar until it becomes thick and syrupy.  Use a good
quality.)
1 TBS dark soy sauce
2 tsp dried thyme
1 TBS seasoning salt
4 ounces of butter, at room temperature (1/2 cup)

You will also need:
1 large orange, washed, unpeeled and cut into eighths
3 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups of chicken or turkey stock (may need more)

Take the turkey from the refrigerator and allow to stand at room temperature for at least an hour before cooking.  (To insure a really dry skin surface, I remove it from the wrapping the night before cooking and pat it dry inside and out with paper towels.)

Make the rub by stirring together all of the ingredients until well blended.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required.

Preheat the oven to 225*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.  Have ready a large roasting tin.

Put the carrots and 3/4 of the chopped onions in the bottom of the roasting tin.  Pour the stock over all.

Take your turkey and carefully loosen the skin around the main body cavity, sliding your fingers carefully inside to loosen it all over the breast.  Take care not to tear the skin.  Take the rub and push 3/4 of it under the skin, massaging it into the meat as best as you can.  I sometimes find this is easier to do by putting the butter under the skin and then massaging it down the breast from the outside of the skin.  Rub the remainder of the mixture on the outside of the turkey.  Place the remainder of the onion and the orange wedges inside the cavity of the turkey along with some salt and pepper.  Tuck the wings underneath as best as you can and tie the drumsticks together over the opening with some kitchen twine.  Place the bird on  a rack over top of the vegetables in the roasting pan, breast side up.

Roast in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes.   Reduce the oven temperature to 160*C/325*F/gas  mark 4 and roast for a further 4 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices..  When it is done the juices should run clear when the bird is pricked between the thigh and breast.  You may need to tent the turkey with foil if it begins to get too dark.  You may also need to add more stock if the pan becomes too dry.  When it is done, transfer the turkey to a large carving board and tent with foil.  Allow to rest for at least 20 to 25 minutes before carving.

Strain the pan juices, discarding any vegetables.  Use these juices to make your gravy.

Note - to cook a chicken in this manner, rub with the balsamic and maple mixture in the same manner on a 2kg chicken and roast at 225*c/425*f/ gas mark 7 for 20 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3 for a further 45 to 60 minutes until done and the juices run clear, basting every 15 minutes or so.  I don't bother with a rack in this case. I just roast the chicken right on top of the vegetables.
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