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Whole30 Holiday Recipe: Roasted Turkey with Gravy

December 06, 2016

Whole30 Holiday Recipe: Roasted Turkey with Gravy

Roasted Turkey with Gravy

Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Brine Time: 12 to 24 hours
Cook Time: about 3 hours
Total Time: about 3 1/2 hours, plus brining


Brine and Turkey
8# - 10# Turkey
5 quarts hot tap water
1 cup salt
2 cups apple juice
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves, torn in half
1 orange, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 quarts ice

Lemon Broth and Turkey Fixings
3 cups chicken broth
Juice of 2 lemons
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 apple, peeled and cored
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 white onion, peeled and quartered
Leaves of 4 sprigs thyme
Leaves of 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3/4 cup clarified butter, ghee, duck fat, or coconut oil

2 tablespoons cooking fat
Neck and giblets from turkey
1 large onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons pan drippings (or clarified butter/ghee)
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder


IF you've bought a frozen turkey, make sure it's completely thawed before brining. (Allow approximately one day of thawing in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds of turkey.) Remove the neck and giblets (usually contained in a bag) from the turkey's cavity and save them in the refrigerator--you'll use them for the gravy.

TO MAKE THE BRINE: Pour the hot water into a very large pot. Add the salt and whisk to dissolve. Continue to whisk while adding the apple juice, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Juice the orange and lemons into the brine. Add the thyme and rosemary and mix well. Whisk in the ice, adding 1 quart at a time.

PLACE the thawed turkey in a large pot or a plastic brining bag and cover with the brine. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

TO MAKE THE LEMON BROTH: Mix the chicken broth and lemon juice in a large bowl and set aside. 

PREHEAT oven to 325°F.

REMOVE the turkey from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the apple, carrots, onion, half of the thyme, and half of the rosemary. Using your fingers, carefully work 1/4 cup of the cooking fat and the remainder of the thyme and rosemary evenly under the turkey skin. Brush or rub the skin with the remaining 1/2 cup of cooking fat.

SET the turkey breast-side up in a roasting pan. Cover loosely with foil, securing around the edges of the pan to create a tent. Roast for 2 hours.

REMOVE the turkey from the oven and discard the foil. Baste the entire turkey with 1 cup of the lemon broth, then increase the temperature to 375°F and place the turkey back in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, baste with another cup of lemon broth. Roast for an additional 20 minutes, and baste again with the last cup of lemon broth. Roast for an additional 20 minutes of until turkey's internal temperature on the leg reaches 160°F. (A meat thermometer is important here.)

LET the turkey rest for 20 to 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Transfer turkey to a carving board. Scoop the stuffing from the middle of the turkey and discard, then begin carving. 

TO MAKE THE GRAVY: Heat the cooking fat in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, sear the turkey neck and giblets for 5 minutes, turning to prevent from burning. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer the ingredients for 10 minutes, until the carrots are very soft. 

REMOVE the turkey neck and giblets and discard. Transfer the broth and vegetables to a food processor, add the salt and pepper, and blend to smooth consistency. Reserve gravy until the turkey is out of the oven. 

CAREFULLY pour turkey pan drippings into a pot with gravy mixture (or add 2 tablespoons of clarified butter or ghee, if the drippings prove too hard to transfer). Return gravy to a pot on medium heat and bring to a simmer. 

IN a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder and 1/3 cup of cold water and mix well. It should feel like a paste at first and then blend into a milky-white consistency. (Do not mix the powder directly into the gravy, or it will clump instead of mix!)

TAKE the gravy off the heat and immediately add the arrowroot and water mixture. The heat from the gravy will activate the thickening power of the starch; stir well until the gravy thickens. 


Recipe Credit: The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

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