Classic Roast Turkey

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 1 hr 10 min
  • Inactive: 30 min
  • Cook: 3 hr
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

1 12- to 14-pound turkey (thawed if frozen)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 onion, quartered

1 carrot, cut into chunks

1 stalk celery, cut into chunks

3 sprigs sage, plus 1 tablespoon chopped leaves

3 sprigs thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped leaves

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter

2 teaspoons paprika

Classic Gravy, recipe follows

Classic Gravy:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed

Turkey neck and giblets (liver discarded)

1 onion, quartered

1 carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

3 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup dry white wine

8 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth, plus more as needed

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Turkey pan drippings

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Let the turkey sit at room temperature, 30 minutes. Position an oven rack in the lowest position (remove the other racks); preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and set aside for the gravy. Pat the turkey very dry with paper towels and rub inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the onion, carrot, celery, and sage and thyme sprigs. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Put the turkey on a rack set in a large roasting pan and tuck the wings under the body.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; whisk in the paprika and chopped sage and thyme. Let the paprika butter cool slightly, then brush all over the turkey. Transfer to the oven and roast 1 hour. Meanwhile, make Classic Gravy.
  4. After the turkey has roasted 1 hour, baste with the drippings. Continue roasting, basting every 30 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 2 more hours.
  5. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest 30 minutes before carving; reserve the drippings for the gravy.

Classic Gravy:

  1. Prepare the stock: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the turkey neck and giblets; cook, turning, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery, thyme and bay leaves; stir to coat. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, reduce the heat to low and simmer about 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup; reserve the saucepan. You should have 7 cups stock-if you're short, add more broth.
  2. Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in the reserved saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the 7 cups stock; bring to a simmer and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Set aside until the turkey is done.
  3. Pour the turkey pan drippings into a fat separator and let stand until the fat rises to the top. Discard the fat (or drizzle on your stuffing). Whisk the defatted drippings into the gravy; season with salt and pepper. Reheat before serving.
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