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Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

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This recipe for Thanksgiving Turkey, by , is from Carrie's Table, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Carrie Sisk


1 16lb fresh turkey
1 lb (about 2 cups) kosher salt
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1-2 navel oranges, quartered
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh parsley sprigs
16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 double thick, 2ft sq piece of cheesecloth
For gravy:
cup flour
2 cups milk
salt, pepper, thyme and kitchen bouquet to taste

Remove extra turkey parts stuffed inside both ends of the turkey (I discard). Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water and set it in a large pot, bucket or XXL ziplock bag to hold the turkey and cover with cold water. Refrigerate or place in a very cold place (32-40). May even put in a large cooler filled with ice. Refrigerate for 8-12 hours. Remove the turkey, rinse well and pat dry. Preheat oven to 450. In a large bowl, combine onion, carrot, celery, thyme, parsley and half of the melted butter and toss to mix. Pack the body and neck cavities loosely with the vegetable mixture. Squeeze the orange wedges inside cavities as well and then put wedges inside. With kitchen twine, truss legs together and secure neck flap to back using wooden skewers, cutting off extra skewer pieces. Rub turkey with half of the remaining butter and set turkey on its side on a rack in a large roasting pan. Roast for 15 min. Set turkey on other side and roast another 15 min. Reduce heat to 325. Soak cheesecloth in remaining butter, set turkey breast side up and place cheesecloth over the breast. Add little water to the pan. Continue roasting, basting with pan juices every 15-20 min until an instant read thermometer inserted in center of breast registers 165 (180 for thigh). If breast begins to cook too quickly, tent loosely with aluminum foil. Total roasting time should be about 3 hrs. Let the turkey rest for 15-20 min before carving or even 30-40 min while other side dishes bake.
For Gravy: Reserve 3 tbsp drippings in roasting pan. Stir in cup flour and whisk until well blended cooking on low heat. Remove from heat. Add enough milk to flour mixture to make 2 cups. Blend well. Add salt and pepper. May add thyme and kitchen bouquet. Cook, whisking until thick and bubbly. Strain through a fine mesh strainer for smooth gravy.




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