The ultimate meal planner

Discover more great recipes and get custom weekly menus and grocery lists

Join Now Free

Perfect Roast Turkey

  • Servings
  • Hands-on time
  • Total time
  • Budget
  • 14
  • 85 min
  • 300 min
  • $$$
Gatheredtable
adapted fromMartha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1-20 pound fresh whole turkey, giblets and neck removed from cavity and reserved
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, melted + 8 tablespoons, divided*
  • 2 onions, one quartered, one cut into 1/4-inch cubes, divided
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped, divded
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 leek, trimmed, washed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3 sprigs fresh sage
  • bottle of dry white wine + (optional) 1 cup for gravy
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • giblets (heart, gizzard) and neck, reserved from turkey
  • 1 dried bay leaf

Directions

Prep: 1. Rinse and dry turkey, remove giblets and set aside. Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature. 2. Melt three sticks of butter, and let 4 tablespoons of butter stand at room temperature. 3. Chop onions, celery stalks, carrots and leek. Roast turkey: 1. Place rack on lowest level in oven. Heat oven to 450. 2. Combine melted butter and white wine in a bowl. 3. Fold a large piece of cheesecloth into quarters and cut it into a 17-inch, 4-layer square. Immerse cheesecloth in butter and wine; let soak. 4. Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in roasting pan. Fold wing tips under turkey. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey. 5. Fill large cavity and neck cavity loosely with quartered onion, sage, 2 chopped celery stalks and carrots. 6. Tie legs together loosely with kitchen string. Fold neck flap under, and secure with toothpicks. 7. Rub turkey with softened butter, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper. 8. Lift cheesecloth out of liquid, and squeeze it slightly, leaving it damp. Spread it over breast and about halfway down sides of turkey. 9. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Cook for 30 minutes. 10. Using a pastry brush, baste cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with butter and wine. 11. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and continue to cook for 2 1/2 more hours, basting every 30 minutes and watching pan juices; if pan gets too full, spoon out juices, reserve for gravy! 12. After third hour of cooking, remove and discard cheesecloth. Turn roasting pan so that breast is facing back of oven. 13. Baste turkey with pan juices. If there are not enough juices, continue to use butter and wine. 14. Cook 1 more hour, basting after 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make giblet stock and gravy. 15. After this fourth hour of cooking, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.The temperature should reach 180 degrees (stuffing should be between 140 degrees and 160 degrees) and turkey should be golden brown. If legs are not yet fully cooked, baste turkey, return to oven, and cook another 20 to 30 minutes. 16. When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter, and let rest for about 30 minutes. Make giblet stock: 1. Trim any fat or membrane from giblets. Remove liver. Rinse giblets and neck; pat dry. 2. In a saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add chopped onions, celery, and leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; cook another 5 minutes. 3. Add 4 cups water, bay leaf, gizzard, heart, and neck (do not add liver; it needs to be cooked separately or it makes the stock bitter). Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, or until gizzard is tender. 4. After 45 minutes of simmering, liquid should reduce to about 2 1/2 cups. If it has not, increase heat and cook another 10-15 minutes. 5. Strain broth. Chop gizzard and heart very fine and add to strained broth. Pick meat off neck and add to broth. Set aside until needed for gravy. Make gravy: 1. Pour all pan juices into a glass measuring cup. Let stand until grease rises, about 10 minutes, then skim it off. 2. Meanwhile, place roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup white wine, or water, to pan. 3. Using a wooden spoon, scrape pan until liquid boils and all crisp bits are unstuck from pan. 4. Add giblet stock to pan. Stir well, and bring back to a boil. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. 5. Add defatted pan juices, and cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes more. Season to taste, strain and serve with turkey.

Notes

*If you're avoiding dairy avocado oil, bacon fat or chicken broth are ok substitutes for the butter This is the perfect recipe for your traditional turkey. You can easily choose to stuff it with your favorite stuffing. If you want a little something more with your turkey give these spice combinations a try. Garlicky Lemon Rosemary: 12 garlic cloves, mashed into a paste 2 lemons, zested & halved 4 sprigs rosemary, divided 1/3 cup italian flat leaf parsley, chopped 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (optional) 3 tablespoons olive oil salt and pepper, to taste Mix the garlic, lemon zest, 3 rosemary sprigs (chopped), parsley, red pepper flakes and olive oil together. Season with salt and pepper. Starting at neck carefully slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen massage the garlic mixture into the meat. Leave the sage out of the turkey cavity and add remaining rosemary sprig, fennel and lemon halves. Orange Thyme: 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped 2 oranges, zest & halved 1 stick butter, room temperature salt and pepper, to taste Mix together the thyme, orange zest, butter, salt and pepper. Starting at neck carefully slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin, spread the thyme orange butter into the flesh. Add the orange halves to the cavity. Herbed Shallot: 1 stick butter, room temperature 2 tablespoons sage, chopped plus 4 sprigs 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped plus 4 sprigs 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped plus 4 sprigs 1 1/2 pounds shallots, peeled & halved lengthwise Mix together the butter and chopped herbs. Starting at neck carefully slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin, spread the herbed butter into the flesh. Leave the onion out of the turkey cavity and add 4 shallot halves and the herb sprigs.

Goes great with these recipes

Roasted Delicata with Lime and Pomegranate

The ultimate meal planner

Discover more great recipes and get custom weekly menus and grocery lists

Join Now Free