Hosting my first Friendsgiving (article on that here) seemed like the perfect excuse to complete
yet another first, cook a turkey. That’s right. I had never cooked a turkey
before. Heck, I had never even helped cook a turkey. This was definitely
quite the learning experience as I tried to loosen the skin around the bird
to stuff in the butter mixture and conducted surgery to remove the wing
tips and wishbone. Youtube and Google were my best friends throughout
this entire thing. Lol However, in the end I was surprisingly able to supply
my Friendsgiving guests with a pretty dang good smelling and tasting
turkey. Definitely a recipe I recommend for your Thanksgiving turkey!
1 (12-16 pound) whole turkey, giblets removed
¼ to ⅓ cup kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup fresh sage leaves, minced, plus whole leaves for serving
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
4 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
½ lemon, cut into wedges, plus more for serving
1 large carrot, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 large celery stalk, cut into 3-inch pieces
5 cups chicken stock
1.) Using a knife, remove the wishbone and wing tips from the
turkey, put them in a small bowl in the refrigerator. Trim any
excess fat and skin from the turkey and discard.
2.) Place the turkey on a wire rack set over a roasting pan. Rub the
turkey all over with salt (use 1 tsp salt per 1 pound of turkey). Transfer
to the refrigerator, uncovered, and let dry brine for 24 hours.
3.) When ready to cook the turkey, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
4.) Stir together the butter, sage, thyme, rosemary, and garlic in
a small bowl until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
5.) Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and use your fingers
to gently loosen the skin from the meat over the breasts and thighs.
Stuff the butter mixture evenly underneath the sin over the breasts and
thighs. Smear any remaining butter over the entire outside of the turkey.
6.) Stuff the cavity of the turkey with 2 onion wedges and the lemon
wedges. Toss the remaining 6 onion wedges, the carrot, and the celery
into the roasting pan underneath the turkey. Add 4 cups of the stock to the pan.
7.) Roast the turkey until golden brown, an instant-read thermometer
inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees F, and the
juices run clear, 1 ½ to 2 hours.
8.) Transfer the pan to a separate wire rack and set the turkey
(still on the wire rack) on a cutting board. Tent the turkey
loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
9.) Meanwhile, pour the pan drippings through a fine-mesh strainer
into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Cook until reduced to about 3 cups, 10 to 12 minutes.
10.) Whisk together the remaining 1 cup stock and the flour in a medium
bowl until smooth. Add the mixture to the pan and cook, stirring
constantly, until thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes. Season with
salt and pepper. Pour the gravy into a serving vessel.
11.) Carve the turkey and arrange the pieces on a serving platter. Place
sage leaves and lemon wedges around the turkey and
serve warm, with the gravy alongside.