Herb Roasted and Braised Turkey

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr 30 min
  • Cook: 3 hr
  • Yield: 8 servings
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One 17-pound whole fresh turkey, rinsed well and patted dry

1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 large stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large onions, quartered

12 cups homemade chicken stock


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 head roasted garlic, cloves removed and peeled

Splash of white wine, optional

Mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme. optional

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the turkey: Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.
  2. Combine the butter, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme and in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Sprinkle the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper and fill the cavity with half the carrots, celery and onions. Rub the entire turkey with the herb butter and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Put 4 cups of the chicken stock in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
  5. Place the remaining vegetables on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Put the turkey on top of the vegetables, put in the oven and roast until lightly golden brown, about 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue roasting, basting with the warm chicken stock every 15 minutes, 2 to 2 hours 15 minutes hours longer. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh should register 160 degrees F.)
  6. Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer to baking sheet, tent loosely with foil and let rest 30 minutes before slicing. Remove the legs for braising. Strain the drippings into a bowl and discard the solids. Add enough stock to make 4 cups liquid.
  7. Bring the liquid to a simmer, transfer to a roasting pan, add the legs, cover with foil and braise until tender in a 350 F degree oven about 1 hour.
  8. For the gravy: Melt the butter in a medium pan over high heat. Add the roasted garlic and cook for a minute. Whisk in the flour and cook until lightly golden brown. Slowly whisk the drippings into the flour mixture, bring to a boil and whisk until the mixture begins to thicken and the flour taste has been cooked out, about 5 minutes. Add a splash of the white wine if desired and cook for 1 minute longer. Fold in fresh herbs if desired and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
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