Southwestern Turkey with Chipotle Gravy

Total Time:
12 hr 10 min
40 min
8 hr 30 min
3 hr

8 to 10 servings

  • 1 12 - to 14-pound turkey (thawed if frozen)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
  • 3 sprigs thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped leaves
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons sauce from the can
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or dry sherry
  • Classic Gravy
  • The day before roasting, prepare the rub: Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey; refrigerate until you make the gravy. Pat the turkey very dry with paper towels. Whisk 2 tablespoons salt, the brown sugar, chile powder, 2 teaspoons paprika, the cumin, coriander and onion powder in a small bowl. Spread about one-quarter of the rub inside the cavity of the turkey and spread the rest all over the skin. Set the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

  • The next day, let the turkey let sit at room temperature, 30 minutes. Position an oven rack in the lowest position (remove the other racks); preheat to 350 degrees F.

  • Pour or wipe out any juices that have collected in the bottom of the roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with the onion, carrot, celery and thyme sprigs. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under the body.

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; whisk in the chopped thyme and the remaining 1 teaspoon paprika. Let cool slightly, then brush all over the turkey. Transfer to the oven and roast 1 hour. Meanwhile, make Classic Gravy, adding the heavy cream and chipotle and sauce with the stock in step 2.

  • After the turkey has roasted 1 hour, baste it with the drippings. Continue roasting, basting every 30 minutes, until the skin is dark golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 2 more hours.

  • Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest 30 minutes before carving; reserve the drippings for the gravy. Stir the vinegar into the finished gravy.

  • Photograph by Ryan Dausch

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Top Turkeys for Thanksgiving