Home > fowl > AW’s Roast Turkey with Herb Butter and Caramelized Onions

AW’s Roast Turkey with Herb Butter and Caramelized Onions

March 22, 2010

This turkey was served Thanksgiving 2007 and definitely has become the main contender of turkey to be cooked in future turkey dinners! Moist, succulent and herbally-delicious!!! And the skin, oh how crispy and crunchy it was!!

Onion base for gravy:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 4 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • drippings from turkey

Turkey:

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 21- to 22-pound turkey; neck, heart, and gizzards reserved
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 4-1/2 cups (approximately) low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 large fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the gravy base: melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until deep brown, about 40 minutes. Mix in rosemary and thyme, then flour, stir for 1 minute. Add vinegar and honey; simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Puree mixture if you desire a finer consistency. {NOTE: For added flavor, cook the neck, liver, and gizzards along with the onions. Just remove before adding the rest of the ingredients.} (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover, keep chilled.)

For the turkey: remove livers/gizzards/neck; mix butter and herbs in a small bowl. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry. Place on rack set in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper. Starting at the neck end, slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin. It’s best not to fully separate the skin from the breast because all the butter will just melt and run down into the pan. Therefore, don’t separate the skin between the two breasts and don’t separate the skin on the edge of the breasts. This will create two pockets to keep all that flavorful butter in place!!! Spread 1/4 cup of the herb butter over breast meat under the skin. Rub remaining butter over outside of the turkey. Place turkey parts and onion quarters in pan around turkey. If stuffing turkey, spoon stuffing loosely into main cavity and neck cavity. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together loosely to hold shape.

Set rack at lowest position in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roast turkey uncovered for 1 hour. Tent turkey breast and tops of drumsticks loosely with foil; roast for another hour. Add 1 cup broth, herb sprigs, and bay leaf to drippings in the pan. Continue to roast until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (do not push in to the bone!!) registers 175 degrees (or as noted on the turkey package); baste with 3/4 cup broth and pan juices every 30 minutes — about 2 hours 30 minutes longer for unstuffed and 3 hours longer for stuffed. Transfer turkey to platter; let stand 30 minutes (internal temperature will increase 5 to 10 degrees).

Strain pan juices into 8-cup measuring cup; spoon fat off top. Heat gravy base over medium heat. Whisk in flour, then pan juices. Boil until gravy is reduced to 7 cups, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve turkey with gravy. Makes 14 servings.

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