Roast Stuffed Turkey & Gravy

This is a combination of my mother Kitsy Bell’s recipe and the Roast Turkey recipe in From Julia Child’s Kitchen. See Roast Turkey – Need to Know for things you need to know before you start. That post explains buying the turkey and the various steps you need to take to get it all done in time. This isn’t a one-day process.

Recommended equipment:

    Large turkey roasting pan that can go on the burner as well (not the flimsy aluminum ones)
    Bulb baster
    Trussing needle, small metal skewers, or round toothpicks
    White kitchen twine
    2 wide spatulas or turkey lifters
    Cutting board or serving platter


    1 recipe Turkey Stuffing
    1 recipe Turkey Stock
    1 stick butter, melted
    Flour for the gravy
    Extra herbs if desired
    Pretty things to put around the turkey on the serving platter


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Wash and dry the turkey. Remove any loose fat from the cavity and discard.

Lightly stuff the cavities with the Turkey Stuffing. Don’t stuff the bird until you are ready to roast. Put the extra stuffing in a casserole and bake with the turkey for the last hour or so of cooking.

Truss the turkey. This entails closing the cavity openings and securing the wings and legs to the body. Use a trussing needle or, if you don’t have a needle, tie or wrap the twine around the bird at the wings and legs, tuck the wingtips behind, and/or tie the leg ends together.

Put the turkey breast side up in the big roasting pan and rub/pour about half the butter over it. Bake at 325 degrees, basting every 30 minutes or so with the butter or drippings in the roasting pan. If the turkey starts to get too brown, you can lightly cover with a tent made of foil.

Use the turkey timetable to determine the length of cooking required. Turkey is done when the leg wiggles in the socket and/or the thigh meat reaches a temperature of 180 degrees.

Remove the turkey from the oven. Transfer it to a cutting board or serving platter and let it rest for a minimum of 30 minutes before carving. Longer is okay. Don’t discard the juices in the pan. Use for gravy – see below.

Make the Gravy:

Spoon the excess fat off the top of the juices remaining in the roasting pan. Put the pan on the stove burner and stir in 2 T flour for every cup of Turkey Stock you have left. If you don’t have as much stock as you like, you can supplement with Chicken Stock that you made on another occasion and put in your freezer. Use a spatula to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan and thoroughly incorporate the flour into the fat. Let this cook for 30 seconds or so, then stir in the stock, scraping and stirring until it comes to a gentle boil and is homogenous. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed. You can add more fresh herbs or other things to the gravy if you want.

The next day, you can make Turkey Soup from Leftovers.

For more information on turkeys, including recipes, go to the National Turkey Federation‘s website.

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