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Thanksgiving Turkey with Turkey Gravy

We all know that the Thanksgiving turkey is the king of the show. With this delicious bird in the middle of the table, everything will be fine, unless, of course, you’ve created a dry, undesirable-tasting turkey. Everyone has waited all year to get their hands on turkey not only on Thanksgiving but for days to come and it should meet, if not exceed, their expectations.

The following recipe is a great traditional recipe served with turkey gravy, sure to be a hit at your Thanksgiving table. For the turkey, you will need:

  • one 15 to 20 pound thawed or fresh turkey,
  • a lemon,
  • a can of chicken broth,
  • a cup of melted butter or margarine,
  • a teaspoon of fresh parsley,
  • a teaspoon of fresh thyme,
  • a teaspoon of fresh rosemary,
  • salt and ground pepper to taste, usually a teaspoon each.

For the turkey gravy, you will need the fat from the cooked turkey, a quarter cup of cornstarch, cold water, a teaspoon of fresh sage, salt and pepper to taste.

Before preparing the turkey to be placed in the oven, the turkey must be completely thawed. When the turkey is thawed, turn the oven on to 425 and allow it to preheat. If you like, you can line your roasting pan with aluminum foil and use cooking spray. Both are optional, depending on the type of mess you want to clean up after dinner.

preparing the bird

Remove giblets and neck from inside turkey cavity. Sometimes they are in a paper bag, but other times these items are in the cavity. Melt the butter in the microwave or let it sit so it’s ready to use when the turkey is clean. Clean the turkey inside and out with warm water. You should scrub the turkey as best you can to clean the inside and outside, before cooking.

Once you’ve cleaned the turkey, you’ll need to dry the outside with paper towels. Do not rub with the paper towels, just blot. Dip a basting brush into the melted butter and rub it over the turkey. I also like to rub the cavity with a little butter. Now you can sprinkle the turkey with salt and ground black pepper. Use wire to attach the legs and tuck the wings under the turkey.

Now is the time to mix the lemon juice, chicken broth, and other herbs together in a small saucepan. Heat over high heat stirring for a few minutes after the mixture starts to boil, at least a couple. Gradually pour the liquid over the turkey and into the cavity. Make a tent over the turkey with aluminum foil. Make sure there are no openings but the foil does not touch the turkey.

Place the turkey in the preheated oven and bake for one hour. After the hour, baste the turkey and turn the heat down to 400 degrees. A 15 to 20 pound turkey should take about 3 ½ to 4 hours to bake. The best rule of thumb is to baste every hour and check to see if the bird is done. If the meat is not pink and the juices are clear, the turkey is ready to eat.

Don’t throw away the fat, as you’ll be using it to create a delicious turkey gravy the whole family will love. In a bowl, combine cornstarch, water, and sage, stir until smooth. Place the ingredients in a skillet over medium heat along with the turkey fat and cook while stirring preferably with a whisk until the mixture thickens. Serve alongside your turkey and any other treats you have in store for your family.

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