A simple recipe for a classic roasted turkey that uses vegetables and a white wine baste to make a gravy your family will rave about.
Like many of you, our holiday meal traditions include our favorite side dishes surrounded by a flavorful roasted turkey, and this recipe featuring a different baste of white wine is my favorite. It is straightforward and easy, has a great flavor from the wine, and makes the most amazing gravy ever. Really- it is so good.
We like turkey so much, in fact, that I try to buy a couple when they’re on sale and freeze one to cook later – and I always prefer Foster Farms® fresh turkey since they are 100% natural without added hormones, steroids, salt, chemicals or artificial taste enhancers.
I also appreciate that Foster Farms has a tradition of giving back by donating turkeys to families in need during the holiday season. Our very own Oregon Food Bank receives turkeys – some of the 4,000+ total that Foster Farms donates throughout the west coast – to distribute to our communities. It’s nice to know that families who are having tough times can have a traditional holiday meal like our family enjoys.
Do you ever feel nervous about cooking a turkey? I used to almost shake in my boots at the thought – it seemed so scary, especially when I thought about the guests waiting for the main event of the meal. I’ve learned a couple things from years of turkey roasting:
- It doesn’t take as long as you think – unless it’s a HUGE bird.
- Simpler is better (I leave the day-long brining, turning while hot, and other techniques to others).
- Using a thermometer is key to moist white meat.
- Gravy makes everything – even the dreaded dry breast – taste better.
This recipe covers it all – 15 minutes to prepare, cooked in under 3 hours (with a foil covering for part of the time to self-baste), and tested for doneness with an instant read thermometer. And since this recipe makes a truly wonderful gravy, point #4 is a total win, so you can roast your turkey with confidence!
While the turkey roasts, you can use the neck and vegetable scraps to make an easy turkey broth to use in the gravy, if needed, and other side dishes like our family’s favorite, lick-the-plate-clean, Sausage-Cranberry Dressing.
To be completely honest, it has always been the gravy that caused me more anxiety than roasting the bird. It seemed to take a lot longer to figure out how to get a gravy that was lump-free and really tasty.
After trying different thickeners, starting with a white sauce, shaking in a jar with cold water, and more, I keep coming back to this easy method: whisking the flour into a bit of the bubbling broth and then slowly adding the remaining broth. Our family prefers the texture of gravy made with flour, but for those who are gluten-free, it’s easy to adapt this wine-based gravy to use potato or cornstarch, so don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe.
Every time I serve this recipe for roasted turkey, I always get tons of compliments on the gravy. Everyone loves it as much as I do. The bonus? There is zero anxiety involved with cooking this turkey!
- 10-12 lb. Foster Farms Fresh Turkey
- 2 stalks celery, cut in half
- ½ large onion, sliced
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- ¼ c. butter, melted
- 1 c. white wine*
- For Gravy:
- ¼ c. flour (**see note for gluten free option)
- 2-1/2 c. liquid (from pan juices + extra broth if needed)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay the celery and onions in a single layer in the center of a large roasting pan.
- Remove the giblets and neck from turkey. Discard giblets (or use for another recipe) and place the neck in a small saucepan and set aside. Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel (so the butter sticks) and bend the wing tips under the body. Set the turkey, breast side up, on the vegetables in the prepared pan.
- Mix salt, pepper, and thyme together in a small bowl. Brush the turkey all over with the melted butter and sprinkle with the salt mixture.
- Roast, uncovered, for 40 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, add vegetable scraps to the saucepan with the turkey neck, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, covered, while turkey roasts to make broth.
- Remove turkey from oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Pour the cup of white wine over the turkey and cover the pan tightly with foil, tenting the center to avoid touching the turkey breast as much as possible.
- Roast 1 hour. Remove foil, baste with pan juices and roast for another 30-60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reaches 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
- Remove turkey from pan to a platter or cutting board and cover with foil to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
- Make Gravy:
- Strain the pan drippings into a 4-cup glass measure. Add neck broth as needed to equal 2-1/2 cups.
- Pour ½ cup of the liquid into a medium-sized saucepan and heat on medium-high. Slowly whisk in the ¼ flour until smooth. Add remaining 2 cups of liquid and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve immediately.
**To be gluten free, you can use 2 TB. of your preferred starch to thicken: cornstarch or potato starch. Add the starch to ¼ c. cold water first, mix and then whisk into the simmering 2-1/2 cups of pan drippings/broth, stirring until thickened (using starch instead of flour results in a slightly different consistency).
This post is sponsored by Foster Farms®, the opinions expressed are my own. Thanks for supporting the companies that help support this site!