Basic Turkey and Gravy 


Recipe adapted from Judy Miller and Edith Stevenson

I suppose everyone is partial to their mother’s recipe — and I’m no exception.  My mom made turkey has her mother did, and I’ve found no reason to deviate from the Miller family tradition because it’s both simple and delicious.

Here it is.  Save the fussy cooking for your side dishes and deserts!

Roast the Turkey
  1. Bring turkey to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Pat dry.  Cover all skin with shmaltz (rendered chicken or duck fat), then dust liberally with paprika.
  3. Peel and quarter 1-2 onions, and place in bottom of roasting pan.
  4.  Set bird on rack in roasting pan and roast until temperature reaches 165 (measure in thickest part of breast).  Baste every 30 minutes or so with juices from the pan. Allow approximately 12-15min/lb for pastured birds, which are leaner than conventional birds and cook much more quickly.  Flesh may still look a little pink, but if the thermometer says it’s done, don’t keep cooking!  Thigh and leg joints should feel loose and wiggle easily — if they don’t, you can carve them off the turkey and return to the oven at 300 to continue to tenderize.
  5. Tent with foil to cool.
Make the gravy 
  1. Transfer pan drippings to a gravy separator and allow fat to rise and solids to settle.  Strain out onions.
  2. Melt 1 T margarine or shmaltz in a small sauce pan and whisk in 1 T flour.  Add pan juices (not fat) and up to 1 cup broth or water and whisk until sauce thickens, 5-10 minutes.
  3. If desired, chop up onions and add to gravy (or just snack on them, they are divine!) Season with salt & pepper if desired.
  4. Serve warm.

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