Traditional Roast Turkey and Gravy

Dry brine is best for fresh turkeys:

Finely mince (or with a mortar and pestle) 1/2 c. good salt, 1 T. fresh tyme, 1 T. fresh rosemary and 1 t. black pepper. Create a space in your refrigerator to accommodate the turkey. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or 1/2 sheet pan. The turkey needs to be thoroughly defrosted and dry. Evenly rub the salt/herb mixture over the turkey. Place the turkey in your refrigerator, covered loosely with parchment or wax paper. The idea is for the turkey to air dry overnight, so don't wrap in pastic.

Remove turkey from roasting pan. Place cut mirepoix vegetable: 2 carrots, 4 celery ribs (include celery leaves) and 2 onions in roasting pan.

Set turkey on top of mirepoix. Stuff the cavity with fresh thyme, sage and rosemary.

Weight Total
Roasting Time
8-12 pounds
2 to 3.5 hours
12-16 pounds
3 to 4 hours
16-20 pounds
4 to 5 hours
20-25 pounds
5 to 6 hours
25-30 pounds
6+ hours
Turkey Roasting Chart
All turkey roasting charts are basic approximations. Actual cooking time varies depending on a number of factors, including oven accuracy, temperature of the bird when it is placed in the oven, oven temperature, the height and thickness of the roasting pan, and how frequently you open the oven door.

Preheat oven to 400. Roast turkey for 40 minutes, then drop temperature to 350. Baste turkey if you find necessary.

Fresh, lean turkeys that contain no additives may cook faster than a conventional turkey. Begin to check for doneness approximately 30 minutes before the end of suggested cooking time. Use a meat thermometer—there really is no substitute for determining when your turkey is done.

When done, all parts of the turkey should register 165°F. Allow Turkey to rest at least 20 minutes before slicing. In the meantime, make your gravy.
Ratio: 1/2 c. flour to 1 quart chicken or turkey stock.


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