Fail-Proof Garlic and Thyme Thanksgiving Turkey
A simple and versatile recipe that can be utilized in a variety of leftover recipes to enjoy after the holiday is over.
Total time 3 1/2 hrs (depending on exact turkey weight)
- 12-14 Servings
- 20 mins Prep Time
- 3 1/2 hrs Total Time
For the Turkey:
- 1 10-14 lb. Shady Brook Farms® Frozen Whole Turkey, thawed, rinsed and giblets and neck removed and reserved
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped and divided
- ½ large lemon, quartered
- 3 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus 10-12 thyme sprigs
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (divided)
For the Gravy:
- 2 cups water, plus more as needed
- Pan drippings
- ¼ cup light cream
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot starch
- 1 ½ tsp. dried sage
Step 1Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Step 2Place the turkey onto the roasting rack, breast side down, then pat dry with a paper towel. Flip the turkey over, then pat the breast side dry with a paper towel. Slice up half a stick of butter into ¼ slices, then use clean hands to gently separate the skin from the meat by inserting your fingers under the skin right above the cavity of the turkey.
Step 3Divide the butter slices and place them under the skin on both the left and right sides of the turkey, then add 2 thyme sprigs to each side until the entire top of the turkey is stuffed under the skin.
Step 4Next, season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper, then squeeze the lemon to add the juice, then add the chopped, squeezed lemon, remaining thyme sprigs and half the onion to the inside of the cavity of the turkey. Set aside.
Step 5Prep the melted butter. Place 1 stick of butter in a small oven-safe dish and set it on one of the oven racks to melt for about 5 minutes.
Step 6Meanwhile, truss the turkey. Cut a long piece of kitchen twine and position the midpoint between the legs. Place one of the turkey legs over the other to create a criss-cross, then tie a tight knot around the ankles. Wrap the twine around about four times then tie another tight knot. Snip the remaining twine with scissors.
Step 7Next, remove the melted butter from the oven, then carefully place it down and add the thyme, garlic and salt and mix to combine. Brush all sides of the turkey with the butter, and then season with salt and pepper. Gently tuck the tips of the wings under the shoulders to keep them from scorching, then wrap the turkey neck in aluminum foil and place it on the rack next to the turkey. Place the turkey in the oven on the center rack, cooking the turkey for 15 minutes per pound. Remove the turkey neck after 45 minutes—snack on the meat while the rest roasts.
Step 8Use a meat thermometer and remove the turkey at 160°F, then allow the turkey to rest for a minimum of 25 minutes. The internal temperature of the turkey will rise to 165°F as it rests.
Step 9Make the gravy. Remove the turkey and rack from the roasting pan and set aside to rest. Add the giblets, water and pan drippings with the remaining onions and sage to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for about 12-14 minutes then turn off the heat. Use a slotted spoon to remove the turkey heart (the very tough organ from the giblets). Remove the remaining giblets and finely dice it into small pieces and set aside.
Step 10Next, skim off about half of the oil from the top of the gravy, then add the mixture to a high speed blender with the starch. Blend until smooth, then add the gravy back to the saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add the cream, the diced giblets and salt and pepper to taste, then whisk for about 3 minutes until the gravy has thickened.
Step 11To serve, remove the kitchen twine from the legs, then separate the wings and legs from the turkey body. Separate the back of the turkey from the breasts and slice into ½ inch slices. Serve alongside the gravy and choice of sides.
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