Brined and Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey With Simple Gravy

Total Time
4hrs 30mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 3 hrs 30 mins

For succulent meat, brine the bird. Stop your turkey from being dry by brining it and not overcooking it. Also,when serving roasted chicken, you can brine it first to keep it moist. Brining means your not required to baste as much during the cooking process. Prep time does not include brining time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. BRINING TURKEY: ONE DAY BEFORE baking turkey, prepare brine. Combine all the brine ingredients. Place the turkey in a bucket or very large pot and pour brine over turkey to submerge. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Remove turkey from brine; dry off turkey with paper towels. Discard brine.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Brine turkey as instructed above. Salt and pepper the brined turkey and cavity. Fill the cavity with carrots, celery, apple, orange, and garlic; bind the legs with kitchen twine.
  4. In a large roasting or braising pan (or disposable aluminum pan), spread onion, carrot, celery, garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley and bay leaves. Place the turkey on top of the bed of vegetables and herbs.
  5. Put butter on turkey, or between skin and breast meat.
  6. Place the turkey in the oven and roast 45 minutes. Pour half the chicken stock over the turkey; roast 45 minutes. Pour remaining stock over the turkey and roast 45 more minutes; it will start turning golden brown.
  7. Baste with pan juices, cover loosely with foil and roast an additional 45 minutes. When the turkey has reached and internal temperature of 165 to 175 degrees, remove from oven, keep covered, and let rest at least 10 minutes before carving. Transfer to platter.
  8. TO MAKE SIMPLE GRAVY: From the bottom of the roasting pan, discard herbs and measure out 1 cup of vegetables and 3 cups of pan juices; puree in blender. To thicken, add more vegetables; to thin add more pan juice. pour through a mesh strainer to make a smooth gravy. Makes 4 cups. TIP: For silken gravy, forget the flour. Avoid using flour, because that's usually what causes lumps. Instead, puree the vegetables you roast along with your turkey; they become your thickening agent. That, along with your pan juices, becomes your gravy. You can strain it through a mesh strainer, or use cream and reduce it.
Most Helpful

This was my first time to cook a turkey and it came out great! I loved the low cal natural gravy too. Instead of tossing the giblets, I added them to soup made with the turkey carcass. Didn't have fresh herbs so I just threw in small handfuls of dried herbs and hoped for the best.

ellison52 January 26, 2009

52 people, 30 lb turkey, people gushing about "the best turkey" they've ever had. I am making another for Thanksgiving by request.

ProudCarnivore November 20, 2007

I think brined turkey is always the way to go, as the 'technique' makes the bird very moist. I actually put a bit more salt in my brining solution ... perhaps an additional 1/2 cup iodized salt. (Double the proportion of salt if using kosher salt.) I've made this recipe (minus the gravy) for a large crowd, and everyone thought it was delicious. The recipe also works well if adjusted for a small chicken. I took off one star only because I prefer other gravy recipes. One idea, which I always like to do when cooking birds, is to mix herbs with butter before spreading it between the skin and meat; it provides wonderful flavor and crisp skin.

tritle05 January 10, 2007