Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Perfect Pair: Turkey with Maple Syrup, Bacon and Sage Butter

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, so it is time to start thinking about what wine to pair with your meal.  I'm going to give you wine suggestions from Virginia all month to keep it local.  I love to make my Turkey with Maple Syrup, Bacon and Sage Butter.  

Serefina 2009 Rose from Hillsborough Vineyards:  This dry wine is light and flavorful.  It is made with 90% Viognier and 10% Tannat grapes.  
2010 Viognier from Sunset Hills Vineyard:  Striking floral aromas of peach and apricot with a deep lingering finish.

2010 Amber Creek Chambourcin from Corcoran Vineyards:  Lighter-bodied red with plum and cherry flavors.

Also try Neal's suggestions.  Neal Wavra is the sommelier of the Ashby Inn in Paris, Virginia:

Fabbioli Cellars, Tannat, Loudoun County, VA, 2009
Doug Fabbioli is a talented wine maker who has set the bar for a single varietal production of a grape that more and more are planting in Virginia.  Tannat hails from a small village in southwest France knows as Madiran.  Fabbioli’s 2009 displays a smoky quality with leather, and deep aromatic herbs.  The weight of the wine is medium plus and does not showcase a very structured tannin profile, which will match the intensity of the turkey.  The wine is long on flavor—flavors that should complement the bacon and sage butter accompaniements.

Glen Manor, Cabernet Franc, Warren County, VA, 2009
Jeff White has one of the best site in Virginia and ripens his reds well.  His Cabernet Franc sets itself apart from many others with its depth and complexity of flavors and a silky texture.  The ripe red and black fruit profile will reference the sweetness of the maple while adding to the dish in the same way a cranberry relish might.

The Dish:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 bunch Shenandoah Growers fresh sage, leaves finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups chicken stock
1 (12 to 14 pound) fresh turkey
1 cup pure Wholesome maple syrup
1/4 cup hot water
8 strips bacon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 lemon, juiced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and remove the top rack. 

Combine the butter and sage in a mixing bowl, mash with a fork or spoon until the sage is well incorporated and the butter has flecks of green in it; season with salt and pepper. 
Remove the neck and gizzards from the inside of the turkey and discard. Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, pat dry. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin from the breast and legs, and slip pieces of the sage butter underneath; massaging it in as you go. Fill the bird with the cornbread stuffing without packing too tightly; cook the remaining stuffing separately in a buttered baking dish. Truss the turkey; place it on a rack in a large roasting pan, and put into the oven. 

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and hot water to thin the glaze out a bit; use this to baste the turkey every 30 minutes. The turkey should take about 3 hours to cook (i.e. 15 to 20 minutes per pound.) If the legs or breast brown too quickly, cover with foil. About 2 hours into cooking, shingle the strips of bacon oven the turkey breast to cover; continue to roast and baste for another hour or so. The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees (the thigh juices will also run clear when pricked with a knife.) Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving, so the juices can settle back into the meat. 

Skim off the excess fat from the pan drippings with a spoon and place the roasting pan over 2 burners set on medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up brown bits stuck to bottom of pan. Whisk the flour into the drippings, stirring as it thickens to prevent lumps. Add the remaining chicken stock and bring to a simmer; season with salt and pepper and hit it with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavor. Simmer for 5 minutes and then strain to remove any particles. Serve the gravy with the maple-roasted turkey.

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