Turkey and Gravy

November 30, 2010

Three Christmases ago Hubby bought me (and he admits it was for himself too, indirectly of course) a beautiful, amazing new oven.  Double oven.  Convection oven.  Blessed oven.  It has lots of fun features, some of which I still haven’t used…like the pizza one, and the slow cook one.  One of the features that I HAVE used, and totally LOVE is the probe.  You stick the probe in your meat, plug the other end into the oven, set the temp you want your meat to cook to, and the oven does the rest.  It shuts off as soon as the meat is cooked to temperature.  You can’t overcook your meat!  Fabulous.

But, regardless of what kind of oven you have, cooking a turkey really isn’t very hard.  Same for gravy.  I got these instructions out of a magazine last year, and it makes some great turkey!  Theirs was thyme roasted turkey with cider gravy, but I’m not that fancy.  This is how I did it.
(I forgot to put the gravy on before I took the picture, and the veggies were still cooking since my sister was in charge of those and she was late because of a massive snowstorm.  So our spread was prettier and more colorful than this!  But man, look at that beautiful roll!)
3 T olive oil
3 T butter + 2 T butter, room temp
1/2-1 t rubbed thyme
1 t salt 
1/2 t pepper
1 turkey, giblets and neck reserved
1 onion, quartered
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat oven to 375.  In a small bowl, mix oil, 3 T butter, thyme, salt & pepper.  Set aside.
Starting at the neck end of turkey, gently slide your fingers between skin and breast to loosen skin.  Smear seasoned butter under skin, all over breast meat.  Season cavity with salt and pepper, then stuff with onion. Tie legs loosely together with kitchen twine (um…or not.  I don’t have kitchen twine and it seems to cook just fine) and tuck wings under.
Smear remaining 2 T butter over skin.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place turkey on rack in large roasting pan.  Pour 1 cup chicken broth into pan.  Roast turkey 30 minutes.  Reduce oven to 350.  Rotate pan and roast another 30 minutes.  Pour 1 cup broth over turkey, rotate again and roast another 30 minutes.  Repeat 2 more times, covering breast loosely with foil if it browns too quickly.  Roast turkey until a meat thermometer stuck into thickest part of thigh reads 175 degrees, 3-3.5 hours total (for a 14 lb bird).  Remove turkey to a platter, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.  Strain pan juices through a sieve, skimming off and reserving 4 T fat.
*My probe isn’t long enough to rotate the pan, so I usually don’t.  My turkey this year is smaller (just a breast), so I’m trying it with the rotating.  I’m guessing there won’t be much of a difference.
1 T olive oil
neck and giblets from turkey (do not use liver)
1/2 large onion, rough chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 bay leaves
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 c ap flour
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm oil.  Add neck, giblets, onion, carrot, and celery, cook for about 10 minutes, until neck bone is lightly browned and vegetables are softened.  Add chicken broth, stir to release any browned bits on bottom of pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.  Strain liquid through a sieve, discarding solids.
Place roasting pan on stove over two burners (use the bridge burner on your amazing stove! if you have one) on medium heat and return reserved 4 T fat to pan.  Add flour and whisk together until well blended.  Cook 2 minutes, whisking constantly.  Add broth mixture and pan juices and whisk until mixture comes to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened, stirring often, about 15 minutes.  Serve with turkey and potatoes.
**This year, since I cooked a turkey breast instead of a whole bird, I didn’t have a neck or giblets to make gravy with.  So, I cut off a few pieces of skin/fat/meat and cooked that instead.  I also used dehydrated carrots and celery from my food storage.  It made the best gravy I’ve ever had.  Really.

By Becky

Becky is a mom to 4 kiddos and wife to an awesome guy. She's a food fanatic and loves creating and improving recipes. Bread is her weakness and delicious food is her passion!