Roast Turkey

By Yankee Magazine

Oct 12 2007

Because free-range birds have a deeper flavor than most supermarket turkeys, we’ve found that there’s no need to brine before cooking this roast turkey.


about 12 servings


1 12-pound fresh turkey
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock, divided
Nonstick cooking spray
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
Kosher or sea salt and
freshly ground black pepper
Turkey Gravy (optional)


Adjust rack to lowest third of oven and heat to 350 degrees. Remove neck and giblets from turkey; pat bird dry. Tie legs together and tuck wings under. Chop neck and giblets into 1-inch pieces.

Place chopped onions, carrots, celery, thyme, neck, giblets, and 1/2 cup chicken stock into bottom of roasting pan. Mist roasting rack with cooking spray.

Brush half of melted butter over breast and season with salt and pepper. Lay turkey, breast side down, on rack and place in pan. Brush remaining butter over back of turkey and season with salt and pepper. Roast until skin is golden, about 1 hour.

Remove turkey from oven. Using two oven mitts, flip turkey over, breast side up. Add remaining chicken stock to pan. Cover turkey loosely with a foil tent and continue roasting, 45 minutes.

Remove foil and roast 15 to 20 minutes longer, until breast is golden brown and thigh temperature registers 175 degrees. Remove to a platter, reserving vegetables, neck and giblet meat, and juices for gravy if desired. Let turkey sit 30 minutes before carving. Serve with Turkey Gravy if desired.

Turkey Gravy


Reserved roasted vegetables, meat from neck and giblets, and juices
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Kosher or sea salt and
freshly ground black pepper


With a slotted spoon, remove roasted vegetables, neck, and giblets from roasting pan and set aside in a medium bowl. Pour juices from pan into a measuring cup, scraping up any brown bits. Skim fat from juices; then add chicken stock and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook 15 minutes, stirring often, until mixture turns medium to dark brown. Slowly stir in white wine, stock mixture, roasted vegetables and meat mixture, thyme, and bay leaves. Simmer 25 minutes, until slightly thickened. Strain, pressing down on vegetable/meat mixture. Discard solids. Season gravy with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 8 cups.