Make the Perfect Roast Turkey this Thanksgiving

Baked, brined, smoked, fried – there are a plethora of ways to cook your Thanksgiving turkey. For a simple and fail-proof recipe, look no further. This good old-fashioned roast turkey recipe will give you a tender, not-too-dry bird with a crispy skin. A flavorful pan gravy made from turkey drippings makes the meal – never buy a can of gravy again!

Roast Turkey with Gravy

  • 1 whole turkey, 10-12 pounds, with giblets and neck reserved
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2 carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup flour

Prepare Turkey

Bring the turkey to room temperature, and pat it dry. Heat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Brush the turkey all over with 4 tablespoons melted butter, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Tuck the wing tips behind the back, and tuck the drumsticks under the band of skin that crosses the tail. Alternatively, tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string.

Roast Turkey

Scatter onions, carrots, celery, turkey neck and giblets on the bottom of the roasting pan. Put the turkey on the roasting pan rack and set it in the roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the pan, and put the turkey in the oven, legs first. Roast, basting with the pan juices every 20 minutes or so, and adding more water (a cup at a time) as the pan dries out. When a thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh reads 160° F, the turkey is done. It should take 1 to 2 hours. Carefully tip the turkey so the juices from the cavity spill out into the pan. Transfer the turkey to a large cutting board, loosely cover with aluminum foil, and let it rest for at least 20 minutes.

Make Gravy

Remove the vegetables and turkey neck from the pan and discard. If you used the giblets and want them in your gravy, chop and reserve. Pour the liquid from the bottom of the pan into a large bowl, leaving the solid bits stuck to the bottom of the pan behind. When the fat rises to the top of the glass, skim it into a small bowl. Add the flour and remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the skimmed fat and stir until it forms a smooth paste. Put the roasting pan over 2 burners and turn the heat to high. When the bits stuck to the bottom start to sizzle, add the chopped giblets (if you’re using them), the chicken stock, and all the liquid from the glass, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat so that it bubbles steadily, and let it cook until it reduces slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the flour-fat mixture, whisking frequently until it dissolves completely and thickens the gravy.

Taste and serve!

RECIPE: Easy Cranberry Apple Crisp


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