Turkey with White Wine Gravy

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 195 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10

To take this moist, butter-infused turkey to another level, Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers likes to substitute black truffle butter for the regular butter. Truffle butter is sold at many specialty grocers, but if you can’t find it, make your own by mixing together a stick of softened unsalted butter, 2 teaspoons of truffle oil and a pinch of salt. Taste and add more truffle oil as desired.


For the turkey:

  • 1 fresh turkey, 14 to 16 lb. (6.5 to 7.25 kg), neck and giblets removed
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups (48 fl. oz./1.5 l) chicken or turkey stock

For the white wine gravy:

  • 1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) finely chopped shallots
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) dry white wine
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) chicken or turkey stock
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) all-purpose flour


Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for about 1 hour. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C).

Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat it dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, stir together the salt and pepper. Working from the end with the large cavity, carefully run your fingers underneath the skin to loosen it, being mindful not to tear the skin. Rub the butter under as well as over the skin. Sprinkle the salt and pepper mixture evenly in the turkey cavity and all over the skin. Fold the neck skin under the body, tuck the wing tips under the breast and tie the drumsticks together with string.

Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and pour in 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) of the stock. Tent with aluminum foil, being careful that the foil does not touch the turkey. Roast for 1 hour.

Remove the aluminum foil and baste the turkey with the juices in the bottom of the roasting pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and pour another 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) of the stock into the pan. Roast for 30 minutes.

Add the remaining 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) of the stock to the pan. Continue to roast, basting the turkey every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each thigh (close to but not touching bone) registers 170°F (77°C), another 1 to 1 1/2 hours (2 1/2 to 3 hours total).

Remove the pan from the oven and carefully tilt the turkey so the juices from inside the large cavity run into the pan. Transfer the turkey to a platter and let it stand, uncovered, for 30 minutes; the temperature of the thigh meat will rise to 175° to 180°F (79° to 82°C).

While the turkey rests, make the gravy. Strain the juices from the pan in which you roasted the turkey through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-quart (2-l) measuring cup or wide-mouth pitcher and skim off and reserve the fat (or use a fat separator). Straddle the roasting pan across two burners and heat 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the reserved fat over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and boil, stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the mixture has reduced to about 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml), 5 to 8 minutes.

Add enough of the stock to the reserved pan juices to bring the total to 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l). Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a heavy 2- to 3-quart (2- to 3-l) saucepan and bring to a boil.

In a small bowl, mash together the butter and flour to make a roux. Add the roux to the pan, whisking until the liquid is thickened. Simmer, whisking occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove and discard the string from the turkey, carve the turkey and serve with the gravy alongside. Serves 8 to 10.

Adapted from Sunday Suppers, by Karen Mordechai (Clarkson Potter, 2104).

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