Prep 45 mins
Cook 5 hrs
- 14 -16 lbs fresh turkey, preferably free range
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 sprigs fresh sage
- 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
- 4 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 leeks, rinsed well and coarsely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cups turkey broth or 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 1⁄4 cups water
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon butter
- fresh ground pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 375°.
- Rinse turkey well with cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the turkey.
- Lift the skin on the breast and use your hand to gently separate the skin from flesh.
- Stuff 6 sprigs each of thyme and sage beneath skin to cover the breast.
- Mix chopped vegetables and remaining herbs.
- Fill turkey cavity with most of mixture, reserving several handfuls.
- If desired, use kitchen string to truss turkey, tying the legs together and tucking the wings beneath the bird.
- Rub all over with olive oil, and season.
- Place remaining vegetables in bottom of greased, large roasting pan.
- Place turkey, breast side up, on top of vegetables in pan.
- Roast for one hour at 375 degrees.
- Remove turkey from oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees.
- Using oven mitts or large meat forks, turn turkey over so that it is breast side down.
- Return to the oven and roast for 30 more minutes, or until the skin turns golden brown.
- Remove turkey from oven and cover loosely with foil.
- Return turkey to oven and continue roasting for 2 to 2 1/2 hours more, or until a meat thermometer (inserted between a thigh and breast) reads 170 degrees.
- Transfer the turkey to a carving platter and allow it to sit about 20 minutes before carving.
- Place the roasting pan with turkey juices on 2 burners over medium heat.
- Mix broth and 1 cup of water and add to pan juices.
- Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain into a saucepan and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Skim off fat that rises to the top.
- Place saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add any accumulated juices from the turkey platter.
- To make gravy: Mix cornstarch with remaining 1/4 cup water and stir into the pan juices.
- Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer until gravy becomes slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat; add butter and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Serve with turkey and stuffing.
- Makes about 5 cups of gravy.