Thanksgiving – Roasted Turkey & Pan Gravy

Yes, you can brine your turkey and shove a goose, a chicken and a quail in its ass before smoking it in the hole you dug in the backyard filled with hot rocks and banana leaves – all wrapped in bacon. (I’m just guessing from a professional point of view what the food network has been teaching this season.) Any of the fancy things they will show on the food networks about how to complicate something as simple as roasting a turkey really do not need to be followed.  Sure, they are all fun but this is the easiest part of the meal.  (The gravy is harder than roasting the bird.)  Let’s keep it simple this year, just enjoy the process and make a delicious bird.
Giving Thanks

Keep it simple – it will be delicious

Roasted Turkey


  • 1 Turkey
  • 1 1/2 yellow onion, quartered
  • 4 stalks celery, rough chop
  • 3 carrots, rough chop
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • $ sprigs thyme
  • 1 stick butter
  • kosher salt
  • pepper


Pre Heath oven to 500 degrees

First, take the nasty bits out of the turkey like the neck livers and gizzards.  Reserve those because we will use them later.

Rinse the turkey in cold water and dry it with paper towels

Place turkey in a roasting pan – perferably one with a rack so its just not siting in the pan.

Season the inside cavity of the turkey with Salt and Pepper – Its ok to feel like you are using too much Salt and pepper. 

Shove as much of the onion, carrot, celery, garlic lemon and thyme into the cavity of the bird.  Any that will not fit, put it in the pan around the bird.

Next, massage that stick of butter all over the outside of the turkey.  Rub it good!

Finally, season the outside of the bird generously with salt and pepper.

to roast, put in 500 degree oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until the turkey is an amazing honey brown color.*  after no more than 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 and roast until the fat part of the breast is about 165 degrees.  for an average bird, about 1.5 hours.  Remove the turkey from the oven at 165 – take some pictures of this perfect beast – move to a platter, boing sheet etc…and cover with foil and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to one hour.

to carve, I like to remove the legs and thighs first and then remove the breast and wing in one cut.  Then slice the breast into beautiulf pieces and serve the rest of the pieces whole.  After dinner, shred that meat for sandwiches.

*If the top is getting too brown, you made need to make a hat for your turkey.  Just fold a piece of foil into a triangle and fit it over the top of the bird.  That will help it to stay that amazing brown color.




  • Nasty bits (Neck, Liver & Gizzard)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Water
  • 1/2 bottle Pinot Grigio
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Begin this once Turkey goes into the oven.

Add nasty bits, onion, carrot, celery thyme and garlic in one stock pot and cover with water.  Bring this to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer while turkey roasts.

When turkey is done and removed from roasting pan – move roasting pan to the stove or if it will not fit, dump everything in the roasting pan into a nice sized pan and bring this up to heat over a medium high heat.

when warm – add flour and stir for about 5 minutes to cook flour.  (We are making a roux.)

Next add wine and stir for 1 to 2 minutes.

Next, the stock with the nasty bits etc…pour this into the roux mixture BUT…pour it using a strainer to catch most of the stuff from the pan.  We don’t need all of that in the mix now.

Sitr over heat for about 5 minutes until it begins to thicken.

Once grazy starts to get a little thick, strain from the roasting pan into a new stock pot.

Bring this mix to a boil.

Add cream and salt and pepper to taste.

This can be simmered until ready to serve.


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One Response to “Thanksgiving – Roasted Turkey & Pan Gravy”

  1. debbie cansler
    November 15, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Gc I am making everything from your menu from our thanksgiving in Colorado! Thanks for all the great recipes. Love mom

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