Flat-roasted Turkey with Cranberry Pilaf

Flat-roasted Turkey with Cranberry pilaf.

*A full-sized picture of this dish is available in the Gallery


for turkey
1 turkey (your choice of size – 1 lb per person)
2 onions
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup unsalted melted butter
apples (½ per person)
Salt and pepper
for pilaf (ingredients for 4 servings)
2 cups long-grain (Basmati) rice (cup size 250 ml)
1 quart (1 liter) water + 1 tbsp salt for soaking rice
3 quarts (3 liter) water + 3 tbsp salt for cooking rice
1 cup dried sweet cranberries
½ cup unsalted melted butter + 2 tbsp for qazmaq
1 lavash (tortilla) for qazmaq

Flat-roasted turkey is the quickest, easiest and best recipe for cooking a turkey.
Before cooking the turkey, make sure it is completely thawed. Do not forget to remove any packaging and the bag of giblets (hidden in the body cavity and the neck cavity).
Marinating the Turkey.
Marinating the turkey before cooking it will make its meat moist, tender, and perfectly seasoned.
Slice the onions into half rings, put them in a bowl, and add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Massage the salt into the onions and squeeze them with your hand until the onions get soft and a little juice starts coming out.


Sprinkle the outside and inside of the turkey with salt and pepper.


Place the turkey into a plastic bag.
Coat the turkey all over with the onion mixture. Seal the bag well to prevent any leakage and marinade it in the refrigerator overnight or longer.


Cooking the turkey.
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator one hour before cooking and remove all the onions from it.
Place the turkey on a large cutting board breast side down, and cut out the backbone (spine) as shown on the picture below. You can do it with scissors or a sharp knife. Save the backbone for broth along with the neck and giblets.


Then, remove the wishbone and spread out (butterfly) the turkey.


Flip the turkey over, breast side up, and spread its legs out.
Place the turkey in a roasting pan or roasting rack breast-side up, tuck the wingtips underneath, then pour melted butter all over the turkey rubbing it all over so that it coats well. For easier cleanup, you can line the pan with aluminum foil.


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Put the turkey into the oven, add 1 cup of broth or water and roast until it is halfway cooked. Then, remove it from the oven and brush it with the turkey’s juices collected in the pan. Place the apples around the turkey and continue roasting until it’s fully cooked and golden brown.


If your turkey is golden brown, but not cooked yet, loosely cover it with foil to prevent the skin burning.
Remove the turkey from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.


Preparing the pilaf.
Rinse the rice thoroughly in cold water several times until the water remains clear to remove excess starch. Then, soak the rice overnight in salty water at room temperature (or at least 1 hour in very hot salty water) for truly great, fluffy, and evenly cooked rice. Before cooking the rice, pour out the water straining the rice with a colander.


Fill a pot with water, add salt, and bring it to a boil. Place the rice into the boiling water. Stir, lower the heat to medium, and let it cook for 5-10 minutes (depending on the quality of your rice). Cooked rice should be soft on the outside and hard inside (not raw).


Strain the rice using a colander and rinse with hot water to wash out an extra salt.
Then, place the rice into a large bowl, add melted butter and dried cranberries, and gently mix it all together.


Melt two tablespoons of butter in a pot and place lavash (tortilla) on the butter. Qazmaq (cooked lavash under the rice), will prevent the rice from scorching, forming a delicious crispy crust.
Then, move the rice mixture into the pot.


Wrap the lid of the pot in a tea towel and cover the rice. Cook over a low heat for about 45-60 minutes. Put a heat diffuser (or a pan) under your pot to prevent burning.


Serve pilaf and turkey while they are still hot either on a large plate as shown on the main picture, or separately as shown on the picture below.


Bon Appétit! Enjoy!

This post is also available in: Russian

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