The holidays are right around the corner and my favorite, Thanksgiving, starts off the season. The aroma of a turkey baking in the oven always makes me feel happy and cozy! It also brings back memories of my childhood when there were four generations of cooks in my mother’s kitchen working together to feed the mass of friends and family.
Now Let’s talk about the main attraction. TURKEY! When it comes to the turkey I always use a fresh HO-KA bird that I’ve purchased for years.
Turkey is always the main attraction at my table, but you’ll find great side dishes for your holiday table on my blog including the best turkey dressing ever and incredible cranberry sauce.
This year, I wish you a wonderful time with friends and family!
Bungalow Chef’s Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey
14-16 lb fresh turkey (A thawed, frozen bird can be used following all safe handling directions and procedures.) These directions are for an unstuffed bird.
Preheat oven to 425˚.
For the stock: Mirepoix of vegetables cut into quarters: 3 carrots 2 stalks of celery 2 onions
For The Roast Turkey: 1 medium onion cut into 8 wedges 2 carrots, cut into 6 pieces 2 celery stalks, cut into 6 pieces 1 bay leaf Kosher salt Pepper 1 lemon halved 1 head of garlic 6 springs of fresh thyme 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
Cut vegetables for the mirepoix. Place in the bottom of a large roasting pan.
Preheat oven to 425˚. NOTE: Roast at 425˚ for 1 hour, then reduce temp to 350˚ for the remainder of roasting time. Total cooking time 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours (unstuffed) to reach 165˚ depending on size and oven operation.
Remove turkey neck and giblets from the cavity then rinse and place in small stock pot. Add 1/2 of the onion, carrots, celery, bay leaf and 8 cups of cold water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil and simmer for one hour. Strain through a fine mesh colander into a bowl. Pull the meat from the neck, chop the giblets and reserve to add to the gravy.
Season both cavities of the turkey with salt and pepper. In the neck cavity place 1/2 of the lemon, 1/2 of the thyme. Stuff the larger cavity with the remaining vegetables, 1/2 garlic head and the remaining thyme. Tie the legs together using kitchen twine.
Rub the bird with butter all over the skin and lightly salt and pepper. Place the turkey on top of the mirepoix of vegetables in the roasting pan. And the remaining garlic and 1 cup of the stock into the roasting pan. Roast for one hour, adding stock or water as needed to keep the roasting pan moist.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚ and bake until the internal temperature reaches 165˚. Check by inserting a probe into the thickest part of the thigh or breast (not hitting a bone).
During the roasting process, add additional stock as needed and baste. If the wings and top are getting overly brown tent with foil and wrap the wings.
Remove the vegetables from inside the turkey, transfer it to a cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes.
Turkey Pan Gravy
Pan drippings from the turkey 1/2 cup white wine 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3 cups stock or low sodium chicken stock
Chopped pieces from the meat from the neck and the giblet (optional).
Discard any vegetables that are still in the roaster. Place the roasting pan across two front burners (with caution). Bring to a low simmer, add the wine, 2 1/2 cups stock and bring to a boil.
Separately mix the remaining 1/2 cup stock into the flour in a medium size mixing bowl and whisk. Then add the stock and flour mixture slowly into the roasting pan whisking constantly. Reduce heat when thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the meat from the neck and gibbets if you wish. If too thick, you can add additional stock. Serve warm. (I always preheat my gravy boat with hot water, before I ladle in the gravy.)