White Wine Basted Turkey

Recipe by mocooks
READY IN: 4hrs 20mins
SERVES: 12-15




  • Serves 12 to 14 If your roasting pan only fits sideways in the oven, turn the pan every hour so the turkey cooks and browns evenly.
  • For step-by-step photos, see our Roast Turkey and Gravy feature.
  • Rinse turkey with cool water, and dry with paper towels.
  • Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Place rack on lowest level in oven.
  • Heat oven to 450°.
  • Combine melted butter and white wine in a bowl.
  • Fold a large piece of cheesecloth into quarters and cut it into a 17-inch, four-layer square.
  • Immerse cheesecloth in the butter and wine; let soak.
  • Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a heavy metal roasting pan.
  • Remove pop up time if there is one, use regular meat thermometer in thick part of leg.
  • Fold wing tips under turkey.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey.
  • (Stuff loosely if you choose, I do not stuff) Tie legs together loosely with kitchen string (a bow will be easy to untie later).
  • Fold neck flap under, and secure with toothpicks.
  • Rub turkey with the softened butter, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper.
  • Lift cheesecloth out of liquid, and squeeze it slightly, leaving it very damp.
  • Spread it evenly over the breast and about halfway down the sides of the turkey; it can cover some of the leg area.
  • Place turkey, legs first, in oven.
  • Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Using a pastry brush, baste cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with butter and wine.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350°, and continue to cook for 2 1/2 more hours, basting every 30 minutes, you will need to reheat the butter-wine mixture occasionally as the butter will harden.
  • Watch pan juices; if the pan gets too full, spoon out juices, reserving them for gravy.
  • After this third hour of cooking, carefully remove and discard cheesecloth.
  • Turn roasting pan so that the breast is facing the back of the oven.
  • Baste turkey with pan juices.
  • If there are not enough juices, continue to use butter and wine.
  • The skin gets fragile as it browns, so baste carefully.
  • Cook 1 more hour, basting after 30 minutes.
  • After this fourth hour of cooking, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Do not poke into a bone.
  • The temperature should reach 180° (stuffing should be between 140° and 160°) and the turkey should be golden brown.
  • The breast does not need to be checked for temperature.
  • If legs are not yet fully cooked, baste turkey, return to oven, and cook another 20 to 30 minutes.
  • When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter, and let rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the gravy.
  • Pour all the pan juices into a glass measuring cup.
  • Let stand until grease rises to the surface, about 10 minutes, then skim it off.
  • Meanwhile, place roasting pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 cup dry red or white wine, or water, to the pan.
  • Using a wooden spoon, scrape the pan until liquid boils and all the crisp bits are unstuck from pan.
  • Add giblet stock to pan.
  • Stir well, and bring back to a boil.
  • Cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the defatted pan juices, and cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes more.
  • You will have about 2 1/2 cups of gravy.
  • Season to taste, strain into a warm gravy boat, and serve with turkey.