The City Magazine Since 1975

Orange- & Herb Butter-Roasted Turkey with Giblet Gravy

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  • 1 10-18 lb. turkey, preferably fresh and thawed if frozen (thaw in refrigerator about three days, then let stand 15 minutes to take the chill off)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Paprika, to taste
  • Herbes de Provence and/or poultry seasoning
  • 1 3/4 cups butter, softened and divided
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 recipe giblet gravy (recipe follows)
  • For the giblet gravy:

  • Turkey neck and giblets
  • 4 1/4 cups of water, divided
  • 1/4 cup turkey drippings
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups giblet broth
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325ºF and place rack in lower third of oven.

Remove neck and giblets from turkey and set aside. Wash turkey inside and out with cold water, drain, and dry with paper towels. Seal the cavities with skewers and string. In a large roasting pan, place two four-foot-long strips of heavy aluminum foil in a cross-bar fashion. Spread one cup of the butter on the foil, then center the turkey on the foil and pour the orange juice over it.

Spread the rest of the butter on the turkey and under the skin (run fingers between skin and meat to loosen skin from breast, legs, and thighs, being careful not to pierce skin). Sprinkle with seasonings. Shape foil into a tent over the turkey and seal edges to keep butter in. Baste every 20 minutes and remove foil from the top to allow further browning the last hour. Roast for three to three and a half hours or until thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh (not the bone) registers 170ºF.

Carve and serve with giblet gravy.

Chef’s Note: I sometimes soften a stick of butter, cream with herbes de Provence, freeze, then slice thin and stuff under the skin of the turkey.

For the giblet gravy:
Simmer neck and giblets in four cups of water for one hour. Strain and reserve broth. Remove giblets, chop, and set aside. In a saucepan, combine turkey drippings, flour, Worcestershire, salt and pepper, and remaining 1/4 cup of water. Gradually add broth, stirring over medium to low heat until gravy thickens.