Introduction: Talking Turkey: Smoked-Paprika-Rubbed Turkey With Madeira and Shallot Gravy

About: Eunisse De Leon is a writer who loves everything DIY- from arts & crafts to food.

Once the hustling and bustling for Halloween ends, we begin to prepare for yet another festive occasion that is Thanksgiving. While some are busy setting up parades and parties, kitchen bosses are busy planning the menu to celebrate the event with heartless abandon, at least as far as the dinner is concerned. And what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving but with a perfectly roasted turkey along with mouthwatering stuffing? Probably the best fixture any Thanksgiving table can have, the turkey is the dish everybody looks forward to once the dinner commences.

If you’ve lived long enough to see and taste every single turkey dish, you’re probably looking for something new to bring to the table—literally and metaphorically. Well, you’re in for a treat as we give you three sumptuous turkey dishes you can make at home that you and your family will surely never forget.

Here's the first recipe of this three-part series:

• 1 turkey, around 14 to 16 lbs.
• 1/4 cup of Spanish smoked paprika
• 1/2 cup kosher salt
• 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
• 3/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
• 4 cups of Corn Bread and Sausage Stuffing
• 8 cups of turkey stock
• 3 large shallots, chopped
• 1/4 cup of sifted all-purpose flour
• 1 cup of Madeira

1. Set the turkey in the center of a large roasting pan and put it aside. Using a clean bowl, mix the Spanish smoked paprika and salt thoroughly. When it’s’ ready, set a tablespoonful of it aside and then sprinkle the rest on the turkey’s skin and neck.

2. Wrap the turkey with cling film or aluminum foil and put it in the refrigerator for a whole 24 hours. After that, rinse the turkey with cold water and pat it dry with a towel. You should also wash the pan and rid it off with the liquid extracted from the turkey overnight.  Next, let the turkey rest on top of a rack for a full hour. You can preheat the oven at 375° degrees Fahrenheit.

3. After letting it rest, rub the turkey with the softened butter and then season it with the remaining paprika and salt mixture. You can also add pepper for a more distinctive taste. When you’re done, fill the turkey with the Corn Bread and Sausage Stuffing and loosely bind the legs with a string.

4. Add three cups’ worth of turkey stock into the pan and then roast it. When 45 minutes has lapsed, baste the turkey with juices and reduce the heat to 350 degrees°F. Baste every 45 minutes and add one cup of stock for every turn until the turkey is completely cooked. The roasting will be complete between three and three and a half hours or until it has reached a 165° degree Fahrenheit temperature.

5. When it’s done, place the turkey on a platter and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. Collect the juices from the pan and let it settle until the fat forms on top. Use this grease to sauté the shallots. After three minutes, mix in the flour and the Madeira and let it simmer. When the mixture is reduced by a third, you can turn off the pan and serve the gravy with the turkey.

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