Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy

The interesting aspect of chef Andrew Taylor's turkey recipe is the sautéed onion, celery, carrot, sage, and thyme he adds to the cavity to flavour the turkey, then incorporates into the pan gravy.

Roast Turkey

1 Spanish onion or 2 onions dice sauté cool mix stuff brush sprinkle foil and roast at 375°F for 1 hour remove foil roast, basting every 20 minutes, until thigh is 185°F, 1–1½ hours remove vegetable mixture to bowl place turkey on platter, tent, and let rest
2 stalks celery
1 large carrot
1 T vegetable oil  
1 T chopped fresh sage  
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
5 peppercorns, crushed
1 turkey (12–14 lb/5.5–6.3 kg) pat dry
2 T butter, melted  
¾ t salt  
¼ t pepper
  1. Dice onion, celery, and carrot into small pieces.
  2. In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté vegetables until lightly browned, 7–8 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Mix in sage, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns.
    (Make ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 8 hours.)
  4. Pat turkey dry inside and out.
  5. Stuff body cavity with vegetable mixture; skewer cavity shut. Tie legs together and tuck wings under back.
  6. Place turkey, breast side up, on greased rack in roasting pan. Brush with butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Loosely cover with foil.
  7. Roast in 375° F oven for 1 hour.
  8. Remove foil; roast, basting with drippings every 20 minutes, until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 185°F, 1–1½ hours.
    (We need to flip the turkey so it cooks evenly. Breast-side up first, then back side, then back to breast-side. Flip when it looks nicely browned on that side—no hard-and-fast rules, just evaluate when you baste.)
  9. Remove skewers. Spoon vegetable mixture and juices into a bowl; set aside for use in pan gravy.
  10. Lift turkey onto large cutting board; tent with foil and let stand for 15–30 minutes before carving.

Makes about 1 turkey

Pan Gravy

1 turkey roasting pan, full of drippings skim off all but 2 T fat whisk cook 2 minutes, scraping whisk add stir boil 15 minutes strain
¼ c all-purpose flour  
6 cups Turkey Stock  
vegetables from inside turkey  
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
1 t lemon juice  
  1. After roasting the turkey, skim all but 2 T of the fat from pan juices.
  2. Whisk flour into pan.
  3. Place pan over medium heat; cook for 2 minutes, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan.
  4. Gradually whisk in stock.
  5. Add scooped-out vegetable mixture to pan juices, along with salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to boil; boil, stirring constantly, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in lemon juice, adding a little more to taste, if desired.
  8. Strain into warmed gravy boat.

Substitution: You can use canned condensed chicken stock instead of turkey stock, but dilute it with twice the amount of water and omit the salt.

Turkey Stock

1 turkey neck, chopped in 5 or 6 pieces boil skim cover and simmer 2 hours strain
1 turkey gizzard, halved
1 turkey heart, halved
8 cups water
1 onion, quartered  
1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic
3 sprigs parsley
2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
½ t salt
½ t peppercorns
  1. Place turkey parts in large saucepan with 8 cups of cold water. Bring to boil.
  2. Skim off foam.
  3. Add onion, celery, garlic, parsley, cloves, bay leaf, salt and peppercorns; cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours.
  4. Strain.

(Make ahead: Let cool; refrigerate in airtight container for up to 2 days.)

Makes about 6 cups.

Easy Turkey Carving

  1. Remove one leg: wiggle the leg to see where it joins the turkey. Insert the tip of a sharp knife into the hip joint to remove the leg.
  2. Cutting through the knee joint as above, separate the thigh from the drumstick.
  3. Cut the thigh meat off the bone, cutting parallel to the bone.
  4. If desired, repeat with drumstick.
  5. Remove one breast: cut down the center of the turkey and follow the ribcage down one side to the bottom. The breast should come right off.
  6. Cut the breast into thick slices across the grain. This yields more tender pieces than cutting along the length of the breast.
  7. Repeat all this on the other side.
  8. Now that the heavy meat is off the carcass, you don't need the wings to stabilise it. Remove the wings as you did the legs, piercing the shoulder joint with a sharp knife.
  9. Cut each wing into three pieces at the joints - a drumette, forearm, and crunchy delicious hand.
  10. Arrange pieces on a warmed serving platter and take to the table.

Stolen from Canadian Living's October 2003 issue — "Thanksgiving at Langdon Hall"