Is there a better smell in the world than a turkey roasting on Thanksgiving Day? I don’t think so. This turkey is so easy and so flavorful that you will not want to save it just for Turkey Day. I make this throughout the year. It makes incredible sandwiches.

You can make the rub ahead of time, stored in an airtight container. Leave out the orange zest and add it right before you get ready to prepare the turkey. Use the same oranges to stuff the bird.

A big tip: Cover your turkey with foil when it comes out of the oven. It will stay hot, unsliced, for up to one hour. Slice and serve with piping hot gravy.

Orange Rosemary Turkey with Gravy

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 1 12- to 15-pound turkey

Serving Size: about 3 ounces turkey meat

Orange Rosemary Turkey with Gravy

Ingredients

    For the dry rub:
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Zest of two oranges
  • For the turkey:
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 (12 to 15 pound) turkey
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 1 (32-ounce) container low-sodium chicken broth
  • For the gravy:
  • Additional chicken broth, if necessary
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour

Directions

Prepare dry rub by combining the ingredients together in bowl. Set aside.

To prepare turkey, mix together 4 tablespoons butter, garlic, rosemary and thyme in small bowl. Set aside.

Wash turkey inside and out (make sure that you don’t leave any of “parts” inside either side) and dry with paper towels. Transfer to board. Gently use your fingers to separate skin from turkey. Work from neck end and work your way to you reach the end of the breast. Rub butter mixture under skin, making sure to cover entire surface.

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of dry rub into cavity; add oranges. Tuck wings by bending wings underneath the bird so they stay in place. Tie legs together using kitchen twine. Overlap legs and tie together. Transfer bird to roasting pan. Rub 6 tablespoons of dry rub on outside of turkey. Pour chicken broth into bottom of the roasting pan.

Place bird in oven and cook, checking on color until skin is golden, about 45 minutes. If any parts begin to get too brown too quickly cover with patch of aluminum foil to allow other parts of the bird catch up. Reduce heat to 300°F and cook, covered loosely with foil until thermometer reads 180°F when inserted into inner thigh and 170°F when inserted into breast.

Remove turkey from oven, transfer to large cutting board and keep bird covered with foil so that it stays warm, up to 1 hour.

To prepare gravy, pour pan drippings into a gravy separator and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove layer of fat. You need a total of 3 cups of drippings; add more chicken stock if you need to reach 3 cups.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Whisk in drippings and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Carve turkey and serve with hot gravy.

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Use softened butter for cookies and cakes.

Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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