"The tradition of Italian cooking is that of the matriarch. This is the cooking of grandma. She didn't waste time thinking too much about the celery. She got the best celery she could and then she dealt with it."--Mario Batali


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This recipe for TURKEY- ROAST TURKEY AND GRAVY, by , is from BUZZARD'S BEST, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.


Added: Monday, March 2, 2009


Donít let the ingredients list throw you, it is mostly herbs. You will need a large heavy roasting pan and a rack to bake the turkey on. I have cooked many a turkey, but the method below is a no fail that produces the best turkey and gravy ever, plus it is super moist. After it is in the oven it is a no brainer. The secret is basting the bird UNDER the skin before it goes in the oven. There are many herb and spices to choose from Garlic and butter are a must, then add your favorite flavors to the butter. This recipe calls for Fresh Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.

1 14-16 pound Turkey, rinsed and patted dry inside and out. Save neck and innards for the Gravy stock.
6 EACH fresh Rosemary and Thyme sprigs
2 TBL Olive Oil
2 cups Turkey gravy stock
TURKEY GRAVY STOCK, make in the morning, or the day before if you can get the gibletís out of the turkey, you need this for the turkey and the gravy. In a large sauce pan combine :
8 cups low salt chicken broth
2 scrubbed un peeled carrots, cut in large chunks
2 celery stocks cut in chunks
1 large onion quartered
1 bunch Italian Parsley, (optional)
Turkey neck, heart and gizzard.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 Ĺ hours, strain stock into a bowl and cool.

HERBED BUTTER can be made 2 days ahead. Mix all together
1 1/2 cubes room temperature butter
4 cloves minced garlic
1 TBL each chopped fresh Rosemary, Thyme, Sage
If you donít have fresh herbs you can use powdered poultry seasoning, fresh is always best in my book.

Set oven rack in lowest position in the oven and Preheat to 325
Sprinkle main turkey cavity with salt and pepper and rub 2 TBL herb butter inside. Starting at the neck end, carefully slide hands between skin and breast, slowly work your hands under the skin of the thighs and upper leg. Spread remaining herb butter under the skin, on the breast, legs and thighs, use it all. Put a rosemary and thyme sprig under the skin on each side of the breast and one on each thigh. Put remaining herbs in cavity of the bird. Tie legs loosely or tuck back in hole above tail. Tuck wing tips under. Place turkey on rack in large roasting pan. Rub turkey all over with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Pour 2 cups of stock in pan. My recipe says you donít have to baste it, but I always do, about every hour. Roast for about 3 hours, until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 165-170. Juice from thigh meat should run clear. Tilt turkey so juices run out out of cavity and into pan. Transfer to platter, setting turkey upside down with breast resting on the platter. (this is the secret to moist breast meat). Tent loosely with foil and let it rest for 30 minutes, before carving, while you make the gravy.

3 cups turkey stock
3 TBL cold water
5 tsp corn starch
1 cup cream (optional)
Fresh herbs or 2 tsp poultry seasoning
If you had to use a disposable roasting pan scrape all juices into a large, heavy sauce pan. I am hoping you own a heavy roasting pan, Scrap juices and brown bits from bottom of roasting pan, add stock, scraping up all browned bits. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer about 10 minutes. Add cream and dried herbs if using dry. Mix corn starch and water together well and add to gravy, simmer until reduced and is desired consistency. More broth, to thin more corn starch and water to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh herbs at the end. This is so basic, you can add mushrooms, sausage, leeks . White wine for some of the stock. Remember, if you have stock left over it is great for the start of Turkey Tortilla soup. See Chicken Tortilla soup recipe.




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