Herb Roasted Turkey

From my book, What’s In Your Pantry. Buy the book here


Herb Roasted Turkey

I no longer stuff my turkey; it takes too long to cook the stuffing to 165°, the recommended temperature to kill any bacteria; by that time the turkey itself is overcooked. I can also make the dressing the day before, bake it and heat it while I’m making the gravy.
Try serving with Duchess Potatoes instead of the traditional mashed.

  • 12-14 lb. free range or organic turkey, room temperature
  • 2 medium onion, quartered with skin on
  • 4 carrots, peeled and rough chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, rough chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, Meyer lemon is preferred
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup turkey stock, see recipe in Basics chapter
  • Gravy
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 7 cups turkey stock, approximately
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425°.

Wash and dry turkey inside and out; dry well.

Choose a roasting pan that will fit the turkey with no more than 2” of space on any side, otherwise the juices that accumulate in the bottom of the pan may burn.

Place ¾ of the onion, carrots and celery plus bay leaf, ½ of the bunch of parsley, sage and thyme into the bottom of a baking pan that will fit the turkey, don’t let the turkey hang over the edge and make sure there is no more than 2” open on each side of the bird. (The turkey will sit on this bed of vegetables instead of a rack).

Pat the turkey dry and rub the turkey with butter, season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over turkey and tuck rind under the bird. Insert an oven-proof probe thermometer into thick part of the thigh and set for 165°.

Pour wine and turkey stock in the bottom of the pan and place uncovered in hot oven. (The total cooking time will be approximately 1 – 1 ½ hours).

Baste after ½ hour; if you don't have enough juice in pan use some extra stock. Do not cover bird until browned and then loosely place foil over breast. If wings start to brown too early, wrap with foil. Baste every ½ hour until the turkey is done. Remove from the oven, place turkey on a cutting board or platter, and tent lightly with foil, do not remove probe thermometer until you’re ready to carve the turkey. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Remove the vegetables and herbs from the roasting pan; place the roasting pan on two burners, add the wine, and turn the heat to medium, bring to a boil and scrape the bits (fond) from the bottom of the pan. Strain this liquid into a large measuring cup, through a cheesecloth lined sieve before continuing, add turkey stock to equal 8 cups.

Make a roux for the gravy:

Add ½ cup of butter to the hot roasting pan and, when melted, add flour and whisk until roux is light brown.

Whisk pan the reserved pan drippings and stock into the roux, pouring in a steady stream until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper, keep warm.

Makes approximately 8 cups.

Turkey will serve 8-10

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