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Les Gourmettes Achiote Butter-basted Turkey
3 ancho chilies, destemmed and seeded
3 C. hot water
1 large white onion, quartered
1 fresh turkey, 22 to 24 lbs.
3 T. achiote paste
1-1/2 sticks butter
4 C. chicken stock
2 poblano chilies
1/4 C. masa harina
salt and pepper to taste
Slice ancho chilies so they lay flat. In a heavy skillet over high heat, toast chilies until just fragrant, about a minute on each side. Place toasted chilies in a bowl of hot, but not boiling, water; soak 15 to 20 minutes or until softened.
Remove giblets and neck from turkey; discard. Thoroughly rinse bird, pat dry and season cavities with salt and pepper. Remove one of the softened chilies from the water and cut into strips. Place strips and onion inside the breast cavity.
Cream together achiote paste and butter. Gently loosen skin on the breast of the turkey and ease one-half the butter mixture between the flesh and the skin. Rub remaining mixture over the rest of the bird. Truss the turkey and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour 1 cup of chicken stock in the pan, loosely cover with an aluminum foil tent and place in a preheated 325°F. oven. Baste turkey after 30 minutes and about every 20 minutes thereafter. Cook 5 to 6 hours or until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 170°F. in the breast and 185°F. in the thigh. To brown the skin, remove foil for the last hour of cooking. Remove roasting pan from the oven and allow turkey to rest while preparing the sauce.
Place remaining chilies and 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid in a blender. Add poblano chilies; puree. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
Pour liquid from the roasting pan into a measuring cup, then skim off the fat. Place 4 Tbsp. fat back into the roasting pan. Discard the rest of the fat, but save defatted pan juices. Place roasting pan over medium heat; stir in the masa harina. Stirring constantly, cook 2 or 3 minutes or until mixture has a paste-like consistency.
Gradually add defatted pan juices and remaining 3 cups of chicken stock, scraping up any brown bits; stir until smooth. Stir in the chile puree; season with salt and pepper, then strain if desired. If sauce is too spicy, add 2 to 3 Tbsp. cream or butter to cut the heat. Carve turkey and serve with sauce.
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