For Christmas dinner this year we had Dave’s parents up from Memphis and I was determined to bake an awesome family dinner. In my 3 decades on earth, I had never made a turkey. Mainly because I’m not overly fond of it. It’s usually slightly dry and somewhat bland. I did not have super high hopes for this dinner…. We got a 13 pound turkey and I made Dave stick his hands inside, completely violating the bird and take out all the inside stuff. ick. I then proceeded to make the kind of turkey that made my taste buds burst out of my mouth in joy. It was amazing. Even the homemade gravy made me want to break out in song. Actually, I think I might have… I was beyond thrilled and I must say super proud. If you ever find yourself in the situation where you need to cook a turkey, I highly suggest following this recipe:
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 turkey, 12-14 lbs, thawed if frozen
1 onion, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
Several sprigs of fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sage
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup cornstarch
Preheat oven to 325 F. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper inside turkey cavity. Place onion, garlic, herb sprigs, and bay leaves insides cavity. Place turkey breast-side up on rack in large roasting pan. brush with half of butter; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and remaining salt. Truss, if desired.
Tent turkey with foil, roast 2 hours, 30 minutes. Remove foil, brush with remaining butter. Increase oven temperature to 425 F. Roast turkey until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh away from bone registers 180 F about 45 minutes, tenting with foil during last 15 minutes of cooking time, if browning too quickly. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, skim and discard fat from pan juices. Place roasting pan with 1 1/2 cups juices over medium heat. Add broth, chopped thyme, and remaining pepper, stirring up browned bits from bottom of the pan. Simmer 3 minutes.
Stir together cornstarch and 1/3 cup water. Strain gravy into small pot over low heat, gradually whisk in cornstarch mixture. Simmer stirring, until thickened, 2 minutes.
Servings: 12 servings
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 min