Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy


Recipe courtesy of Cooking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America (Wiley, 2003) available at bookstores nationwide. 

Serves 10
1 turkey (about 15 lb)
1 apple, quartered
1 bay leaf
1 large sprig fresh thyme
½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Set a roasting rack in a large flameproof roasting pan.

Stuff the turkey with the apple, bay leaf, thyme, and parsley. Rub the lemon juice over the entire bird, and season with salt and pepper. Place the turkey breast side up on a rack in the roasting pan, transfer to the oven, and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.  Roast for three hours, basting occasionally with accumulated pan drippings. Remove from the oven and transfer the turkey, on its rack, to a baking sheet. Degrease the pan drippings by skimming away any excess fat from the surface. Return the turkey and any juices that have accumulated on the sheet to the roasting pan and return to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the turkey’s thigh registers 180°F, 30-60 minutes more. Remove the turkey and the rack from the roasting pan, cover the bird, and let rest.

Remove and discard the apple, bay leaf, thyme, and parsley. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

Chef’s Note:  The rule of thumb for turkey roasting is to allow about 20 minutes per pound; use this to calculate the approximate roasting time for birds larger than the one called for in this recipe.  


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Pan Gravy
¾ cup diced yellow onion
½ cup diced carrot
½ cup diced celery
5 cups chicken broth, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cornstarch slurry: 1/3 cup cornstarch blended with 1/3 cup cold water or chicken broth

While the turkey is resting, combine the pan drippings, onion, carrot, and celery in a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of the broth to the roasting pan and stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Add to the saucepan along with the remaining broth. Simmer over medium heat until slightly reduced and flavorful, skimming away any fat that rises to the surface, 20-25 minutes.

Gradually add the cornstarch slurry to the simmering broth, whisking constantly, until the gravy has a good consistency.  Simmer two minutes more, strain, taste, and season with salt and pepper.

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