NANA’S ROASTED TURKEY WITH GIBLET GRAVY (for eight)
For roasting the turkey:
1 stick (1/2 cup) or more butter
1 turkey (preferably fresh killed, never frozen), 18 to 20 pounds, brined or marinated
stuffing ( optional)
For the giblet gravy:
4 cups roasted turkey stock or chicken broth
giblets from the turkey
¼ cup Wild Turkey bourbon, more to taste (optional)
1 cup wild mushrooms, sliced, quartered or, if small, kept whole (optional)
½ cup all-purpose flour
- Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse thoroughly, inside and out, under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Check outside for pin feathers and inside for anything not properly removed by butcher. Make sure you’ve removed the giblets (reserve them for the gravy) from both the neck and body cavities (this should have been done before the bird was brined, but you may have decided to omit that step…). Rub the inside of the turkey with lemon and sprinkle it with salt inside and out.
- Place oven rack in middle and preheat oven to 450*.
- Using a large bowl to prop the turkey up, stuff lightly inside the neck cavity, fold skin flap over the stuffing and secure with skewers. Turn bird to other end and stuff lightly (not too tight—the stuffing will expand as it roasts, so the crumbs should remain somewhat loose now. Put any leftover stuffing into an oven-proof bowl or baking pan, preferably one with a cover.) Cover the stuffing with a patch of aluminum foil, pin the skin flap over the foil and tie the legs and tail together with kitchen twine. Fold the wings akimbo.
- Transfer turkey to the rack of the roasting pan, breast side up. Baste the breast with melted butter, salt and pepper it, and transfer it to the oven.
- Immediately reduce the heat to 325*. Roast 10 minutes per pound (to an internal temperature of 170* — about 3 hours for an 18 pound turkey). Baste periodically with the pan juices.
- After 2 hours, baste with pan juices every half hour. Check often to see that it is not becoming too brown. If the skin browns before the meat is done, put aluminum foil over the entire bird to prevent burning the skin while the meat finishes roasting. Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board or large platter. Allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Remove twine and skewers.
- Make the gravy. While the turkey roasts, bring 4 cups stock and giblets to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the giblets are cooked through. Remove the giblets from the stock with a slotted spoon and take the meat off the bones. Discard the bones, chop the meat and return it to the stock.
- When the turkey has been transferred to a platter, skim the fat from the turkey pan juices, reserving 1/2 cup of the fat, and deglaze the pan with the bourbon over moderately high heat, scraping up the browned bits clinging to the bottom and the sides. Reserve the liquid.
- In a saucepan combine the reserved fat and the flour and cook the roux over moderately low heat, whisking, for 3 minutes. Add the stock (with giblets) and the reserved bourbon mixture in a stream, whisking. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking, and simmer the gravy, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- If you are using mushrooms, saute them briefly in a tablespoon of butter, add salt and pepper to taste, then add them to the gravy. Simmer the gravy for a few minutes, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, and transfer it to a heated sauceboat.
NANA’S GIBLET GRAVY