I never thought the Cooking Light magazine had “light” recipes because I’ve bought one before, but these ones seem pretty light! This is the perfect Holiday Bird! Now I’ve never actually cooked a bird myself, I’ve always been invited to other places and I’ve always thought cooking a turkey seems like so much work, well not to mention the fact that I’m not a big fan of touching raw meat for too long of a time LOL!! Now that I’ve typed out this recipe, WOW it does seem like a lot of work, I’m a big fan of the side dishes! Though if I were to cook one, I’d love to try this one, well someone else touched the bird of course!

What you need:
1 (12 lb.) fresh or frozen whole turkey, thawed.
1 tbsp. kosher salt
10 Cups of cold water
4 Celery stalks, quartered and divided
2 medium onions, peeled, quartered, and divided
2 Carrots, quatered and divided
Cooking Spray
1/2 Cup of heavy whipping cream, divided
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. cornstarch

Remove giblets and nect from turkey; set aside. Discard liver. Place turkey, breast side up, on a cutting board. Pull legs away from body; using a boning knife, cut through skin at leg joint. Using both hands, turn leg a quarter of the way from the body until the joint pops out of the socket. WHen flish and joint are exposed, place knife firmly against joint to make cut. Cut through joint to remove leg quarters and set aside. Remove wings along the joint, and reserve wings. Using kitchen shears, cut along backbone on both sides from the tail to neck to remove the backbone; reserve backbone. Place breast, meat side down, on a cutting board. Using a large heavy knife, cut breast in half lengthwise.

Place breast halves and leg quarters in a large bowl; sprinkle with salt. Cover and chill 8 hours over night.

Combine reserved giblets, wings, and backbone in a large dutch oven. Add 10 cups of water, 8 celery peices, 4 onion quarters, and 4 carrot pieces. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat simmer 5 hours or until mixture measures 8 hours or overnight.

Skim solidified fat from surface of stock; discard fat. Return stock to heat; bring to a boil. Boil for 30 mintues or until stock measures 3 cups. Strain mixture through a sieve, reserving stock. Discard solids.

Remove turkey from refridgerator, and let stand at room temperature for 30 min.

Preheat oven to 325F

Arrange turkey pieces, skin side up, in a roasting pan, and arrange remaining 8 celery pieces, 4 onion quarters, and 4 carrot pieces in pan. Brush turkey skin with 2 tbsp. of cream; sprinkle with black pepper. Bake at 325F for 1 1/2 hrs or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers at 165 degrees, basting every 30 min with 2 1/2 tbsp. of stock. Remove from oven. Place breast halves and leg quarters on a jell-roll pan or cutting board. Let stand, covered for 30 min. Discard skin.

Add 1 cup stock to bottom of roasting pan; carefully scrape browned bits from bottom of pan. Place a zip-top plastic bag insidea 2 cup glass measure. Pour drippings into bag; let stand 10 min (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag, and carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of the bag. Strain drippings through a sieve into a medium saucepan, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; Discard fat and solids. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups of stock to the pan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Combine remaining 6 tablespoons of cream and cornstarch, stirring with whisk until smooth. Stir cream mixture into stock mixture, stirring with a whisk. Boil 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Serve gravy with the turkey!

Nutritional Information:
Serves 12; Serving Size: about 5 oz. turkey w/3 tbsp of gravy.
Calories: 254 Fat: 7.4 g Protein: 42.2 g Carbs: 2 g Fiber: .2 g Chol: 153 mg.