High Heat Roasted Turkey with Gravy


It does not have to take 4 or more hours to cook a turkey. 2 hours with high heat instead of traditional slow-roasting, produces excellent results - crispy skin, moist and succulent meat. This method favors smaller turkeys (under 15 pounds). Start the day before.
14 pound turkey
giblets reserved from turkey for gravy (optional)
2 bay leaves
6 peppercorns
1 cup sugar
1 cup salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
basting liquid:
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup butter
1 bottle of dry white wine, 750ml, less amount used for basting liquid above
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, washed, halved but not peeled
2 stalks celery
2 carrots, trimmed
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce (optional)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Brine. 12 to 24 hours before cooking, brine turkey: Place 1 cup sugar and 1 cup salt in the bottom of a pot large enough to hold the turkey. Add 4 cups hot water, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients. Add 4 more cups of cold water. Place turkey in pot, then add water until turkey is completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate.

2 When time to cook, preheat oven to 450°F. Remove turkey from brine pot and place on work surface. Use paper or clean kitchen towels to dry skin and cavity.

3 Baste saucepan. Put a small saucepan for basting liquid on stove top. Pour in 1 cup of wine and add 1/2 cup of butter. Heat until butter melts.

4 Stock-pan. Heat large stock-pan over medium-high heat to begin making gravy. Add onion, browning the cut edges (the browning of the onion and using the peels in the stock will add color to your gravy). When onion is browned, add remaining wine, butter, vegetables, herbs, and salt. If giblet gravy is desired, chop heart and gizzard and add to stock-pan. Fill wine bottle with water pour in stock-pan. Heat to boiling, then reduce to simmer. Cover stock-pan, angling lid, so steam escapes allowing stock to somewhat reduce.

5 When oven reaches 450°F, place a buttered rack inside a roasting pan, then place turkey on rack. With brush, baste entire bird with saucepan wine-butter. Cover breast with foil, then place roasting pan with bird into oven.

6 Baste every 20 minutes or so. Lift foil to coat breast and then lower foil back. After 1-1/2 hours, remove foil for the duration of cooking. Roast for 30 minutes, basting every 15 minutes until inside thigh temperature reaches 150°F.

7 Gravy roux. Meanwhile, as turkey roasts, make roux for gravy. In a small bowl, pour flour and whisk in 1 to 1-1/2 cups water. Mixture may be slightly lumpy, but by whisking often, the roux becomes smooth to make a silky gravy.

8 Just before turkey thermometer reaches 150°F, set colander in a second large bowl and pour off stock-pan, catching onions, bay, and giblets. Rinse out any large particles from stock-pan. Pour bowl of liquid stock back to stock-pan. Heat to boiling.

9 When turkey is done, remove from oven and transfer to carving board, covering loosely with foil to keep warm. It will continue to cook while it rests, and the temperature will reach 160°F. Pour turkey roasting pan juices to stock-pan, degreasing with a spoon if necessary.

10 Gravy finish. To large stock-pan, add small bowl of roux a little bit at a time, whisking constantly, until desired consistency. You may not need all of the roux; discard unused portion. Continue adding soy sauce and freshly ground pepper. Taste gravy and adjust seasoning.

11 Carve turkey after it stands 10 minutes. Pass gravy as accompaniment.

servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 16 Servings
Notes NOTE Roasting Large Birds. The general rule for roasting is 15 minutes for each pound of turkey. Over 16 pounds 10 to 12 minutes per pound at 25 degrees lower temperature.

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