The real star of the day! A big beautiful herb roasted turkey! I always brine my turkey, you can certainly skip this step, but I do think it makes for a juicier, more flavorful bird. The herbs, onions and pan juices, make for an incredible gravy!
Serves 8 – 10
2 gallons of water
1 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of kosher salt
1 entire head of garlic, separate the cloves and crush slightly
2 Tbs of whole peppercorns
6-7 whole bay leaves
1 – 12 lb turkey
2 sticks of softened butter
2 Tbs of garlic powder
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
1 Tbs of dried basil
1 Tbs of dried rosemary
2 tsp of dried sage
2 onions, quartered
2 cups of chicken stock
2 or so cups of chicken stock to add to the pan juices
3 Tbs of unsalted butter
3 Tbs of flour
1/2 cup of dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
If brining: The day before Thanksgiving, remove the giblet bag and the neck, wash the bird inside and out.
In a large brining bag, or a large stockpot, combine all of the brining ingredients.
Place the turkey in the brine, breast side down. If the brining liquid doesn’t completely cover the turkey, add enough water to do so. Cover and keep chilled overnight.
( I put the bird in a large brining bag or trash bag and put it in a cooler with ice)
Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse, inside and out with cold running water in the sink. Dry really well with paper towels.
If not brining, simply wash the turkey, dry and carry on.
Combine the softened butter in a bowl with the garlic powder, herbs, salt and pepper.
Place the dried turkey on a rack over a roasting pan. With your fingers, lift and separate the skin from the bird, smear the herbed butter under the skin and all over the top of the turkey.
Put the onion quarters in the cavity.
Tuck the wings underneath the bird.
Pour 2 cups of chicken stock in the bottom of the roasting pan.
Cover with foil and bake at 325° for 3 hours. Remove the foil and bake another 30 minutes to get it beautifully browned. Check temperature, it should read 165°. If your turkey is larger than 12 lbs, bake an additional 15 minutes for each pound.
Remove from the oven, tent with foil and let it rest for a good 30 minutes. Plenty of time to make the gravy.
Pour the pan juices from the roasting pan through a strainer into a saucepan. You should have about 3-4 cups, if not, add enough chicken stock to make 4 cups.
In a separate, large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, add the flour, cook and stir for 1 minute, add the wine and cook for about for about 5 minutes. Pour in the stock, whisk and cook until thick and smooth. If you have to thin it out, add a little more stock.
Give it a taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving Friends!