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Make-Ahead Turkey and Gravy

Total Time

Prep: 4-1/4 hours + freezing Bake: 50 min.

Makes

16 servings (2-1/2 cups gravy)

Ease the holiday time crunch with a make-ahead turkey recipe that's ready to serve when you are. It's a great choice for potlucks, too. —Marie Parker, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Make-Ahead Turkey and Gravy Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • FOR SERVING:
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning and pepper. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together.
  2. Roast, uncovered, 30 minutes. In a 4-cup measuring cup, mix broth, herbs, lemon peel and juice, and garlic; pour over turkey. Roast, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°, 3 to 3-1/2 hours, basting occasionally with broth mixture. Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.
  3. Remove turkey from pan; let stand at least 20 minutes before carving. Skim fat from cooking juices.
  4. To freeze: Carve turkey and place in shallow freezer containers. Pour cooking juices over turkey; cool slightly, about 1 hour. Cover and freeze up to 3 months.
  5. To serve: Partially thaw turkey in refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 350°. Transfer turkey and cooking juices to a large baking dish. Pour 1-1/2 cups broth over top. Bake, covered, until a thermometer inserted in turkey reads 165°, 50-60 minutes.
  6. To prepare gravy: Remove turkey to a platter, reserving broth mixture; keep warm. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in broth mixture; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve with turkey.

Nutrition Facts

8 ounces cooked turkey with about 2-1/2 tablespoons gravy: 480 calories, 22g fat (7g saturated fat), 218mg cholesterol, 434mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 64g protein.

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