Herb Butter Turkey

January 26, 2012

Tom Colicchio’s recipe in Bon Appétit/Epicurious. Served Thanksgiving 2011.

Mormor’s gravy base:

  • Turkey giblet, liver & neck (cut into 3 pcs)
  • 4 C beef broth
  • bunch parsley
  • 1 tsp bouquet garni
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 2 med carrots cut into large pcs
  • 2 TB flour
  • 3 TB butter
  • 2 T Grand Marnier and  1 TB cognac (add liquors last, after cooking)

Brown giblets, etc with 1 TB butter in frying pan, set aside. Use 2 qt sauce pan,  melt 2 TB butter until starts to brown, add 2 TB flour, stir constantly. Add 3 C beef broth. Add giblets, then in frying pan, add 1 C beef broth to deglaze bits from frying pan, add to sauce pan. Add all remaining ingredients, barely simmer 2 hrs. Strain through fine sieve. Add liquor to taste. When turkey is done, add gravy base to turkey gravy (see end of recipe).

14-16 LB Turkey,  preheat oven 425°, use lowest rack position.

  • 1/2 C butter (1 stick, room temperature, divided into pieces)
  • 2 tsp minced fresh thyme plus 15 sprigs
  • 2 tsp minced fresh tarragon plus 5 large sprigs
  • 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary plus 5 sprigs
  • 2 tsp minced fresh sage plus 5 sprigs
  • 4 TB butter (for inside cavity)
  • 4 TB butter to add to pan during roasting (1 Tb at a time)
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper

Mix 1/2 C butter and all  minced herbs in small bowl. Season with salt & pepper. (Reserve 2 TB herbed butter for gravy) Rinse turkey inside & out, pat dry. Starting at neck end, rub 4 TBs herb butter under skin over breast meat.Place turkey on rack in roasting pan. Sprinkle main cavity generously with S&P.  Place 4 TB plain butter and all herb sprigs in cavity. Tuck wing tips under. Tie legs together loosely. Rub herb butter over outside of turkey. Sprinkle with more S&P.

Roasting times for turkey; place turkey in oven.

  • Roast 20 min at 425°
  • Reduce to 350°, roast 30 min
  • Pour 1 C chicken broth over turkey; add 1 TB plain butter to pan
  • Roast another 30 min, baste with pan juices; then pour another 1 C broth over turkey and add 1 TB butter to pan. Cover turkey loosely with foil.
  • Baste turkey with pan juices and add 1 C broth and 1 TB butter to pan every 45 min (about 1 hr 45 min longer) until thermometer in thickest part of thigh is 175°F.
  • Transfer turkey to platter, let stand 30 min (internal temp will rise 5-10 degrees more)

Gravy

  • Strain juices from pan, use fat separator  and mix into gravy base.
  • Melt reserved 2 TB herbed butter in heavy saucepan on medium heat. Add 1/4 C flour (wondra) and whisk constantly until roux is golden brown about 6 min. Gradually add gravy base mixture, increase heat and whisk constantly until gravy thickens, boils and is smooth. Reduce heat to med, boil gently to reduce volume. Season with S&P.
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