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Perfect Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy
Serves 18

  • 1 18-pound free range, hormone free turkey, thawed and rinsed
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 stalks celery, cleaned and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • turkey stock, as needed

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Position oven rack in the lowest position. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in roasting pan. Generously sprinkle internal cavities with salt and pepper.

Mix butter, sage, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Using a sharp knife, cut small slits in turkey skin over breast and legs and gently push herbed butter beneath the skin. Fill cavities with onion and celery, and sprinkle outside of bird with salt and pepper. Tightly cover breast with foil. Place roasting pan on lower rack of preheated oven; two cups turkey stock to the bottom of pan.

Roast, basting all over with pan drippings every 30 minutes, replenishing with turkey stock as needed, until quick-read thermometer reads 180°F in thickest part of the thigh. Remove foil for last hour of roasting.

Remove turkey to a large serving platter and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving. Reserve roasting pan and drippings for gravy.

Giblet Gravy
Makes 3 cups

  • giblets from 1 turkey or chicken (liver optional)
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups pan drippings, chicken or turkey broth
  • ½ cup milk or half & half
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped (optional)

Remove liver from giblets and refrigerate. Place giblets in saucepan, cover with 4 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for about an hour. Add liver; simmer 30 minutes more. Drain in a colander; cool and chop. Set aside.

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat; whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly until a blonde roux is achieved, 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in drippings or broth and milk or half & half. Continue cooking, whisking regularly, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in hard-cooked egg, if using, and reserved chopped giblets.

Louisiana Kitchen is published six times a year by Our Kitchen & Culture, a Louisiana LLC. It is the authoritative voice on Louisiana's delicious culinary heritage and cuisine. Subscribe Now!

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