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It's not too soon to start talking turkey for Thanksgiving

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

1 cup (250 mL) bottled unsweetened pomegranate juice

1 cup (250 mL) pomegranate seeds, removed from a whole fruit yourself, or purchased already extracted and packaged

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Remove the neck, giblets and liver from the turkey's cavity. Rinse inside and out with cold running water and pat dry.

In a small mixing bowl, mash together the butter, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. At the neck opening of the bird, carefully insert your fingers to separate the turkey's breast skin from the meat; spread the butter mixture in between.

Rub the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Spread the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, giblets, neck and liver on the bottom of a roasting pan large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey on top. Rub the turkey with 1 cup of olive oil.

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Transfer the roasting pan to the preheated oven. Roast for 45 minutes, then begin basting every 20 minutes, adding chicken stock to the pan as needed to keep the vegetables from burning.

Roast the turkey for between 15 minutes and 20 minutes per pound (500 g) until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh meat without touching bone registers at least 165 F (74 C) and no more than 180 F (82 C). Remove the pan from the oven, loosely cover the turkey with foil, and leave it in a warm place to rest until serving.

Meanwhile, place the roasting pan over two burners on the stovetop. Add the pomegranate juice to the pan and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring and scraping with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits. Carefully pour the liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into a saucepan and, with a ladle, skim off excess fat from the surface. Simmer over medium-high heat until the sauce has thickened slightly; transfer to a sauceboat and keep warm.

Transfer the turkey to a carving board. Using a sharp carving knife, cut off the legs and thighs, moving them to locate the joins and then carefully cut through the joints; cut off the meat in slices parallel to the bone. Starting along the high point of the breastbone, carefully cut downward following the ribs to completely cut off one side of the breast; then, place it on the cutting board and cut crosswise into thick slices. Transfer the slices to individual heated serving plates and garnish each serving with some sauce and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.



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