While I have personally not prepared a turkey using this recipe, it sounds great and comes as a recommendation from a fellow and trusted farmer-friend, Mandy of Schacht Farm. 

(Adapted from The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook- Shannon Hays)

 

For the giblet broth:

2 tablespoons olive oil

Turkey giblets, including neck, gizzard, heart, and liver

1 medium carrot, scraped and coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 ½ quarts chicken or turkey broth

1 tablespoon dried thyme, or 3 tablespoons fresh

1 tablespoon dried sage, or 3 tablespoons fresh

2 teaspoons dried rosemary, or 2 tablespoons fresh

 

Start your turkey by making the giblet broth one day ahead, if possible.  If not, remove the giblets, and make the broth while roasting the turkey as directed below.

 

Heat olive oil in a small soup pot.  Rinse the giblets and sauté in the oil until they are lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the carrot and sauté one minute longer.  Add the onion, and sauté until translucent.  Reduce the heat to very low.  Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, thyme, sage and rosemary and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes longer.  Strain the broth, making sure to reserve the giblets.  When they are cool enough to handle, remove any gristle, then dice the gizzard, heart and liver; pull off the neck meat.  Refrigerate all these bits of meat separately from the broth until you are ready to use them.

 

For the herb butter:

This makes enough to accommodate up to 18 pounds of turkey.  If your bird is larger, scale up the proportions to suit your taste.  If it is 24 pounds or more, consider doubling the recipe.

 

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons finely minced fresh oregano

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

¼ pound unsalted butter, softened, or 1 cup olive oil

 

Combine all in a food processor, and puree until smooth.

 

For the turkey:

1 turkey

3 medium onions, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, scraped and coarsely chopped

2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

4 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh sage

2 sprigs fresh marjoram or oregano

4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

 

Rinse the turkey, inside and out, and pat dry.

 

Place the oven rack in the lowest position, and rub one-quarter of the herb butter under the skin on the breast.  Rub the remainder all over the bird- on the back, on the breast, on the legs and on the thighs.

 

Set the turkey, breast side down, on a well-oiled rack in a large roasting pan.  Toss half the chopped onions, carrots, and celery into the cavity of the bird.  Add half the fresh herbs and 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.  Scatter the remaining vegetables and herbs in the bottom of the roasting pan.  Pour 1 cup of water over the vegetables (not on the turkey).  Roast the turkey for the estimated amount of time listed below, basting every hour.  Early in the roasting, before you have pan juices, use the remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter to baste the bird.  If the vegetables in the pan look dehydrated, periodically add another ½ cup water until the turkey starts releasing pan juices.  Halfway through the estimated cooking time, pour the reserved giblet broth into the bottom of the pan; carefully turn the bird breast side up.  Continue roasting, basting regularly with the pan juices, until the thigh registers 170-175 degrees.

 

Remove the bird from the oven, transfer it to a warm platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for about 30 minutes while you make gravy.

 

For the Gravy:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup dry white wine

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Pour the pan juices into a large measuring cup or bowl.  Strain and discard the vegetables and herbs.

 

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly, until it turns a deep caramel color.  Pour in all but 1 cup of the pan juices.  Keep stirring the mixture until it comes to a boil.  Reduce the heat, and simmer the gravy for about 5 minutes, until it is slightly thickened.  Be sure to stir the mixture frequently.

 

Set the roasting pan over two stove burners.  Add the wine to the pan, and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits.  Add the gravy, and continue cooking until the sauce is reduced by almost one-third (approximately 5 minutes).  Add the remaining broth and chopped giblets, and return the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Adjust the seasonings for salt and pepper.  Serve gravy alongside the carved turkey.

 

 

Size of turkey Estimated Cooking Time
12 to 14 pounds 2 ¼ to 3 hours
15 to 17 pounds 3 to 3 ½ hours
18 to 20 pounds 3 ½ to 4 hours
21 to 22 pounds 4 to 4 ½ hours
23 to 24 pounds 4 ½ to 4 ¾ hours

 

Turkey from Schacht Farm
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