Roasted Turkey w/ Herb Dressing & Pan Gravy

DSC_0022

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I’m showcasing some of my favorite holiday recipes this month.  Some of them are family recipes while others are my own creations but each of them always has a place on my dining room table.  This fall I had the opportunity to be profiled by Albanian Living magazine as a part of their “traditional American Thanksgiving” article.  All of the recipes I’m sharing were a part of that Thanksgiving table.

Roast turkey is always the highlight of the Thanksgiving table.  The sight of a roasted turkey on the table is both impressive and mouth-watering.  Roast turkey is surprisingly easy to make as well.  All you need is an oven, a handful of spices, and some patience since cooking a whole turkey does take time.  In America, the infamous Butterball turkey is ubiquitous with the holiday.  Outside of the country, turkey can sometimes be a bit of a challenge to find but in our house, since it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the giant bird, we make sure we can find one.  This recipe assumes you are not using a Butterball or other self-basting turkey.

Second to the turkey is the dressing or stuffing as some people call it.  Bread, fruits, nuts, or herbs are stuffed into the turkey cavity and when roasted together the turkey juices seep into the dressing leaving it moist and flavorful.  The recipe here is for a simple herb dressing but my other favorite recipe is one for chestnut dressing.  Whichever one you choose, add a bit of pan gravy and you are good to go.

ROAST TURKEY W/ HERB DRESSING & PAN GRAVY
For the turkey:
12-15 pound turkey
1/2 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
2 cups water
  • Preheat an oven to 425/218 degrees.
  • Thoroughly rinse the turkey both inside and out with cool water.  Pat dry.
  • Place a roasting rack inside of a large roasting pan and place the turkey on top of the rack.
  • Fill the cavity of the bird with the prepared herb dressing.***
  • Gently lift the skin of the turkey and place the small pieces of butter between the skin and the meat.   Evenly distribute the butter over the top of the entire bird making sure to include the drumsticks.  If the skin is not loose you can cut small slits in the skin to insert the butter.
  • Sprinkle the entire turkey with the salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Pour the water into the bottom of the roasting pan and put the turkey in the oven.
  • Roast for 30 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 325/163.
  • Continue cooking until the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 180/82 on a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast meat.  When cooking a stuffed turkey, you should plan on allowing for 20 minutes of cooking time per pound of turkey.
  • When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before moving it to a serving platter.  Allow it to rest for at least an additional 15 minutes before slicing
 For the herb dressing:
 1 loaf white bread, cut into bite-sized cubes
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 medium-sized pear, cored and diced
2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
4 tablespoons dried sage
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups hot chicken broth
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400/200.  Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until crunchy.  You may need to do this in two batches.  Allow to cool.
  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the butter, onion, celery, and pear and saute until soft, 8-10 minutes.
  • Put the dried bread in a large mixing bowl and gently stir it the butter mixture.
  • Sprinkle the fresh sage, parsley, dried sage, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
  • Add the eggs and gently fold to evenly distribute them throughout the dressing.
  • In half cup increments, add the chicken broth to the dressing, stirring well after each addition.  You want the dressing to be moist but not soggy so you may not need to use all of the broth.
  • If you are going to stuff the turkey with the dressing proceed as directed above.  Alternatively, you can place the dressing in a buttered casserole dish and bake, covered with foil, at 350/177 for 30 minutes.
For the gravy:
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt and pepper to taste
  • Place the roasting pan with the turkey drippings on the stove over high heat.  (You may need to use two burners in order to evenly distribute the heat).  If there aren’t a lot of drippings add some of the water.  As the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and using a wire whisk, scrape up any loose pieces from the bottom of the pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water. Mix to form a thin paste.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the dripping and whisk to combine.  Continue cooking until the mixture thickens slightly.
  • Add in the sherry and cook for an additional minute.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Advertisements

Tagged: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

One Real Peach.

reflections on the heartbreak and hilarity of mothering, writing, and living authentically

Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

Part aged wisdom, part trashy yumminess, always slightly salted observations about life, love, and living abroad

Sprouted Kitchen

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Not Without Salt

Delicious Recipes and Food Photography by Ashley Rodriguez.

101 Cookbooks

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Local Milk Blog

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Spoon & Shutter

In and out of the kitchen with Susan and Ted Axelrod

Plating Up

The food that accompanies my adventures!

A Life of Spice

Food, Culture and Lifestyle with Monica Bhide

The Blueberry Files

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Zosia Cooks

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Yummy Supper

The food that accompanies my adventures!

What Julie Ate

It's a delicious life, but somebody has to live it.

United Noshes

The food that accompanies my adventures!

The Bitten Word

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Savory Simple

Everyday Gourmet Recipes

Hip Foodie Mom

The food that accompanies my adventures!

From Away

Cooking and Eating in Maine

Always Order Dessert

The food that accompanies my adventures!

Yankee Kitchen Ninja

The food that accompanies my adventures!

%d bloggers like this: