Thanksgiving Turkey w/ Gravy

Generously adapted from Giada deLaurentiis

  • 1 turkey (14-15 lb)
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 6 fresh rosemary sprigs (divided use)
  • 6 fresh sage sprigs (divided use)
  • 6 fresh oregano sprigs (divided use)
  • 7 Tbs unsalted butter (divided use)
  • 2 Tbs Herbs de Provence
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp black pepper
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Position rack in lowest third of oven.

Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels.  Place the turkey on a rack set inside a large roasting pan.  (Optional: Place the giblets and neck in the bottom of the roasting pan if you want extra flavor for the gravy.)  Place the orange, lemon and onion wedges, along with 2 sprigs each fresh herbs inside turkey cavity.  Tie the legs together to hold the shape of turkey.  Stir 2 Tbs of butter, Herbs de Provence, olive oil, and 1 ½ tsp each salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until butter melts.  (Or, just throw it all in your handy microwave.)  Rub the butter mixture over the turkey and especially between the turkey breast meat and the skin.  (This keeps it extra moist and more flavorful, especially for people like me who don’t eat the skin.)

Cover the turkey breast with foil.  Roast for 20 minutes.

Pour 3 cups of broth into the pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add the remaining sprigs of fresh herbs to the pan.  Roast the turkey for another 40 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Remove the foil from the turkey.  Pour 1 more cup of broth into the pan, stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom, and pour the juices over the turkey.  Continue roasting the turkey until a meat thermometer registers 165 – 175 degrees.  (Be sure to insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.  This will be appx 1 hour and 30 minutes longer.)  Every 30 minutes or so, check to make sure the turkey isn’t getting to brown and pour the pan juices over the turkey to keep it moist.

When it reaches 165-175 degrees, transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil.  Let stand 30 minutes.

To make the gravy :: Strain the turkey pan juices from the roasting pan through a sieve and into a large liquid measuring cup (or a gravy separator, if you have one).  Discard any solids.  Spoon off the fat from the top of the pan juices.  Add enough broth (appx 1-2 cups) to the pan juices to measure 4 cups total.  Set aside.  Melt the remaining 5 Tbs of butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the broth.  Simmer until the gravy thickens slightly, whisking often (appx 10-15 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy with family and friends!

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