Paige’s Simple Turkey

12 to16 lb. fresh turkey
2 to 3 T. kosher salt (about 1/2 t. per pound of bird—maybe slightly more)
Freshly ground pepper
several sprigs fresh thyme
2 T. melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth (low salt)

The day before Thanksgiving, rinse the bird and pat dry with paper towels.
Cut off the wing tips and set aside with the neck. Season the turkey
generously with salt. If desired rub with the fresh thyme. Cover loosely
with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bring the turkey to room temperature (an hour or two before cooking).
Brush the melted butter over the skin and give the bird a generous grind
of pepper inside and out. Tie the legs together (use cotton kitchen twine)
and then place the turkey on a V-shaped roasting rack in a shallow
roasting pan. Cover the breast tightly with aluminum foil and place in an
oven preheated to 375º.

Roast for 1 hour; remove the foil and baste the bird with ½ cup of Turkey
or Chicken stock. Leave the foil off and baste with the pan drippings
every 20-30 minutes until the internal thigh temperature reaches 165º–
about another 1 to 1 ¾ hours (2 to 2 ¾ hours total).

Add water occasionally if drippings appear to be evaporating and are threatening to
burn. Begin testing the internal temperature after about 1 ½ hours of
roasting time.

If the legs begin to get too brown, cover loosely with foil.
When the turkey is done, transfer it (rack and all) to a rimmed sheet pan
and tent loosely with foil. This will free up the roasting pan so you can
deglaze it. Let the turkey rest before carving—at least 20 minutes and
preferably 30 to 45 minutes.

If you are cooking a bird that is larger than 16 lbs., roast at 350º. Cover
the breast tightly with foil for the first 1 ½ hours of cooking time.
Proceed as above. Total cooking time for a 17 to 22 lb. bird will be 3 to 4
hours.

Turkey Gravy

2 cups (about) chicken stock—homemade or low-salt broth
Roast Turkey pan drippings
3 T. unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 T. dry sherry (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste

When turkey is done roasting, heat chicken stock and keep hot. Pour
turkey pan drippings into a glass measuring cup; skim off as much fat as
possible. Add enough hot chicken stock to make 2 1/2 cups liquid.

Melt the butter over medium heat. When foam subsides, whisk in the flour.
Cook stirring constantly for a few minutes—the roux will be bubbly and
straw yellow.

Remove from the heat and pour in half of the hot broth,
whisking constantly until smooth—it will thicken immediately. Add the
remaining broth. Return to the heat and stir constantly until the gravy
returns to a simmer, stir in the cream and the sherry, if using. Bring to a
boil. Taste and season as desired with salt and pepper. Keep hot in a
double boiler.

Note: The thickness of this gravy, achieved with a roux made with 1 T. butter and 4
t. of flour for each cup of liquid, is especially nice—just slightly thickened. The
liquids can be varied to suit your taste as long as this ratio is maintained.

Half of this recipe is plenty for a small gathering of 6 to 8.

This Recipe was share with us by Paige From For Love Of The Table

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