Roast Turkey and Brown Gravy Recipe

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Makes: 10 to 12 servings
Hands-On Time: 25 min. Total Time: 3 hours, 40 min.
1 (12- to 13-lb.) fresh or frozen natural turkey, thawed
2 cups coarsely chopped onion, divided
2 cups coarsely chopped celery, divided
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
6 whole black peppercorns
2 tsp. table salt, divided
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, divided
3 T bsp. canola oil
Vegetable cooking spray
Brown Gravy:
Pan drippings from Roast Turkey
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325° with rack in lower third of oven. Remove giblets and neck. Rinse giblets and place in a 3- to 4-qt. saucepan. Add 1 cup each of onion and celery, next 2 ingredients, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 qt. water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; partially cover, and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Strain broth to measure 1 qt., adding water if necessary. Discard solids.

Step 2

While broth simmers, toss together remaining onion and celery in a bowl. Rinse turkey, and pat dry with paper towels. Spray broiler pan and both sides of rack with vegetable cooking spray. Sprinkle body and neck cavities of turkey with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. garlic powder in body cavity.

Step 3

Wrap 1 1/2 cups onion mixture in 2 layers of cheesecloth. Saturate cheesecloth packet with water; squeeze out excess moisture, and place in body cavity. Repeat procedure with remaining 1/2 cup onion mixture; place in neck cavity. Cover packet with neck skin, folding wing tips under to secure. Tie legs together with kitchen string.

Step 4

Place turkey, breast side up, on prepared broiler pan. Sprinkle bird with 1/2 tsp. salt, remaining 1/2 tsp. pepper, and remaining 1 tsp. garlic powder, and rub evenly over skin. Brush bird with canola oil. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer inserted in thigh registers 180° and drumstick is soft to the touch and leg moves easily (3 to 3 1/4 hours).

Step 5

Remove turkey from pan, and place on a platter, reserving drippings in pan. Cover turkey with foil, and let rest 45 minutes before carving.

Step 6

Meanwhile, prepare gravy, using a rubber spatula to scrape drippings, including all fat and dark brown particles, into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. (Do not use any bitter charred particles.) Allow fat to rise to top of drippings. Pour 1/3 cup fat into a 3-qt. saucepan. Carefully drain remaining fat, reserving all brown drippings (about 1 1/4 cups). Whisk flour into fat in saucepan until smooth. Whisk in brown drippings. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-high heat until bubbly. Whisk in strained broth. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly; reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring often. (Gravy will thicken as it cools.)

Step 7

Remove and discard packets from turkey. Carve each side of turkey breast from turkey in one piece. Cut breast halves crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Carve remaining turkey. Serve with gravy.
Make ahead: Cook, strain, and chill broth a day ahead. Prepare turkey for baking (do not brush with oil), and place on a jellyroll pan. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. Transfer turkey to prepared broiler pan. Brush bird with oil, and bake as directed. (Refrigerating the bird uncovered produces an extra crispy skin.)

Step 8

This recipe is excerpted with permission from "Christmas with Southern Living 2013: The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Cooking & Decorating" by the Editors of Southern Living Magazine and published by Oxmoor House.

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