Roasted Turkey and Make-Ahead Gravy, as seen on The Kitchen, Season 32.
Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Roasted Turkey Breast

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 30 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
This can be in addition to a whole roasted bird so you have more breast meat. As for portions, I generally count about 2/3 pound turkey breast per person and 1 pound per person from a whole roasted turkey. You can also skip the gravy part and just make the roasted turkey breast. The breast can be roasted day of. You can also skip the turkey breast and just put your premade gravy, with another cup of stock, into the roasting pan where you cooked your whole bird to trap all the drippings and enhance the gravy like that.


Make-Ahead Gravy:


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Fit a roasting pan with a rack and set aside.
  2. Get ready: Brush both sides of the turkey breast with the melted butter. Season the turkey breast with salt and pepper. Arrange the turkey breast on the rack and place the pan in the center of the oven to cook.
  3. Roast: Roast the turkey until the pan juices are clear (meaning free of any traces of blood) or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 160 to 165 degrees F. I usually calculate 12 to 15 minutes per pound of meat. If your turkey breast is 5 pounds, start to check for doneness after 1 hour. Remove from the oven when done.
  4. Finish the gravy: Transfer the turkey breast to a cutting board, inverted with the skin side down, and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  5. If serving with Make-Ahead Gravy, put the roasting pan on the burner and add all of the Make-Ahead Gravy to the pan. Simmer gently over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to trap all the drippings from the turkey breast and enrich the gravy. Stir in a dash or two of red wine vinegar, or to taste.
  6. Serve: Turn the breast skin side up. Cut the breast off of the bone and sprinkle with salt. Cut the breast into thick slices and transfer to a platter. Pour any juices from the cutting board into the gravy for added flavor and stir to combine. If serving with gravy, you can keep the gravy on the side or spoon it around the meat.

Make-Ahead Gravy:

Yield: 3 to 4 cups
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Get ready: In the bottom of a roasting pan, arrange the onions, carrots, garlic and celery. Give them a drizzle of oil and season with salt and pepper. Place a rack on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan and brush it with oil to help prevent the wings/legs from sticking. Arrange the turkey wings or legs on the rack above the vegetables and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the pan in the center of the oven.
  3. Cook: Roast the turkey parts until the juices run clear (meaning free of any traces of blood) or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the wings/legs registers 160 to 165 degrees F, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and place the pan directly on 2 burners of the stove.
  4. Build the gravy: Remove the rack from the pan and move the wings to the roasting pan. Move the garlic halves to a plate. Add the sherry to the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the liquid until only a thin layer remains, then whisk in the mustard. Add the bay leaves, if using, and 4 cups of the stock. Simmer gently over medium-low heat until the liquid reduces by about half, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the vinegar. Remove the turkey wings or legs and pick the meat off the bones and reserve. Discard the bay leaves, if used.
  5. Finish: Transfer about half of the liquid to a blender. Hold the garlic halves like lemon halves over the blender and “squeeze” the flesh from the peels, allowing the garlic “meat” to fall into the blender. Blend on low speed until smooth. Add the cooked onions, celery and carrots and blend again until smooth. Transfer to a medium pot. If too thick, simmer with some additional stock. Taste for seasoning. Add the picked turkey meat to the gravy to give it texture and added meaty flavor. Let it cool to room temp, then transfer to a resealable container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  6. To reheat, add the gravy to a medium pot or a roasting pan a turkey was cooked in and place over medium heat. Whisk and thin to desired consistency with stock and/or pan drippings from a roasted turkey. Bring to a simmer, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.