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Classic Cheesecloth Turkey

  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 minutes Bake: 3-3/4 hours + standing
  • Makes
    24 servings (4 cups gravy)

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 celery ribs, quartered
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, quartered
  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Remove giblets from turkey; cover and refrigerate for gravy. Pat turkey dry; place breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. In small bowl, combine softened butter, thyme and sage. With fingers, carefully loosen skin from turkey breast; rub butter mixture under the skin. Sprinkle salt and pepper over turkey and inside cavity; fill with celery, onion and carrot.
  • In a large saucepan, melt cubed butter; stir in wine. Saturate a four-layered 17-in. square of cheesecloth in butter mixture; drape over turkey. Bake turkey, uncovered, 3 hours; baste with wine mixture every 30 minutes, keeping cheesecloth moist at all times.
  • Remove and discard cheesecloth. Bake turkey until a thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 170°-175°, basting occasionally with pan drippings, 45 minutes to 1-1/4 hours longer. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly).
  • Remove turkey to a serving platter; cover and let stand 20 minutes before carving. Discard vegetables from cavity. Pour drippings and loosened brown bits into a measuring cup. Skim fat, reserving 1/3 cup. Add enough broth to remaining drippings to measure 4 cups.
  • For gravy, chop reserved giblets. In a large saucepan, saute giblets in reserved fat until browned. Stir in flour until blended; gradually stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 2 minutes. Serve with turkey.
    Freeze option: Place sliced turkey in freezer containers; top with any cooking juices. Cool and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a covered saucepan, gently stirring and adding a little broth or water if necessary.
Nutrition Facts
6 ounces cooked turkey with about 3 tablespoons gravy: 354 calories, 16g fat (5g saturated fat), 149mg cholesterol, 302mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 43g protein.

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