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Classic Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy Recipe

For the turkey:
1 fresh 12-pound turkey, neck, heart, gizzard and liver reserved
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 T. butter, at room temperature
3/4 C. canned chicken broth
1/4 C. peanut oil
1 yellow onion, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, unpeeled, coarsely chopped

For the gravy:
7 C. turkey stock (see below)
1/4 C. cornstarch
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for up to 1 hour to take off the chill.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 F. Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry. Trim off and discard the excess fat. Fold the wings underneath the back of the turkey to prevent overbrowning. Lightly salt and pepper the turkey inside and out. Truss the turkey.

Place the turkey on a rack in a flameproof roasting pan. Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter over the turkey breast. Dampen an 18-inch square of doubled cheesecloth and drape it over the turkey breast, leaving the drumsticks uncovered. Place the turkey in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small sauce pan, combine the chicken broth, the remaining 6 tablespoons butter and the peanut oil. Warm over very low heat until the butter has melted.

At the 30-minute mark, using a bulb baster, baste the turkey through the cheesecloth with some of the broth mixture. Continue roasting, basting every 20 minutes, for 1 1/4 hours. Add the onion and carrots to the roasting pan, stirring to coat them with the drippings. Continue to roast, basting the turkey every 30 minutes with the remaining broth mixture and then with the accumulated pan juices, until the vegetables are well-browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey thigh, away from the bone, registers 175 F., about 1 1/4 hours longer, for a total roasting time of about 3 hours.

Transfer the turkey from the oven to a cutting board, cover with foil, and make the gravy.

To make the giblet gravy, place the turkey's roasting pan with all its juices and the vegetables over two burners and turn the heat on both burners to medium-high. Add all but 1/4 cup of the turkey stock to the roasting pan and bring to a brisk simmer. Stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, about 5 minutes.

Pour the contents of the pan through a sieve set over a large bowl, pressing hard on the vegetables with the back of a large spoon to extract all the liquids; discard the solids. Spoon off as much of the fat from the liquids as possible. (You also can use a fat separator.) Transfer the defatted liquids to a medium sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and simmer briskly for 5 minutes.

Finely chop the cooked heart and gizzard reserved from making the turkey stock and the reserved uncooked liver. Reduce the heat to low and stir the giblets into the gravy. In a small bowl, stir the remaining 1/4 cup stock into the cornstarch to make a slurry. Gradually stir the slurry into the gravy. Cook until the gravy thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy. Serves 8.


Turkey Stock
3 T. peanut oil
2 turkey wing drumettes
Turkey neck (reserved from turkey), plus the heart and gizzard
3 C. chopped yellow onion
2 C. chopped carrot
1 C. chopped celery
Stems from 1 bunch fresh parsley
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
8 C. low-sodium canned chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Warm the oil in a stock pot set over medium-high heat. Brown the turkey wings, neck, heart and gizzard well, turning about once or twice, about 14 minutes. Stir in the vegetables and herbs. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, about 15 minutes. (For the giblet gravy, remove the heart and gizzard at this point and reserve.) Add the broth, salt and pepper to taste, then bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook for 35 minutes.

Strain the stock, pouring it through a sieve, into a large bowl. If using right away, skim off the visible fat or pour into a fat separator. Otherwise, let cool 30 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight. Using a large spoon, remove the solid fat from the top of the stock and discard. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Makes about 7 cups.

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