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Salted Roast Turkey with Shallot Dijon Gravy

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Serves 8-12 | Prep Time | Cook Time 180-240+

Why I Love This Recipe

The November 2008 issue of Bon Appetit's Thanksgiving Special magazine presented this delicious sounding recipe and tips about salting instead of brining your turkey for better results. I'm planning on this recipe for our holiday dinner.

Ingredients You'll Need

Herb Salt:
⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp. coarse Kosher salt
1½ tsp. dried rosemary
1½ tsp. dried rubbed sage
1 tsp. crushed black peppercorns
3 small bay leaves, coarsely torn
1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel

1 14-16 lb. turkey (neck, heart and gizzards reserved)
1 large onion, chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1 whole lemon, chopped with peel
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups Golden Turkey Stock* (recipe follows)

3½ cups Golden Turkey Stock* (recipe follows)
⅔ cup chopped shallots
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary


Rinse the turkey clean but do not pat dry. Place it in a roasting bag; sprinkle the turkey inside and out with herbed salt. Refrigerate for 18-24 hours.

Set oven rack on lowest position and preheat the oven to 325º F.

Rinse the turkey inside and out, now pat it dry.

Stir the chopped onion and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Divide this mixture between the main and neck cavities of the turkey.

Truss and place bird on a rack set in a large roasting pan. Spread butter all over the turkey. Place and reserved fat pads, neck, heart and gizzards in the pan; pour in 2 cups of Golden Turkey Stock*.

Roast for 45 minutes, then baste with pan juices. Continue to roast until a meat thermometer registers 165 to 170º F, basting every 45 minutes, and adding more stock or water if the pan becomes dry; also tent turkey loosely with foil if browning too quickly. Roast 3 to 3 ½ hours.

Transfer turkey to a platter, tent loosely with foil and let it rest 30-45 minutes. Reserve the pan juices for the gravy.

Pan gravy: Pull meat off neck and chop with gizzard and heart, reserving for gravy if desired.

Pour pan juices into an 8 cup measure. Spoon off fat and reserve ½ cup of the fat. Add enough stock to degrease the pan juices to measure 5 ½ cups total. Set pan juices aside.

Place roasting pan over two burners on medium heat. Add ½ cup reserved fat and shallots; sauté 1 minute. Whisk in flour. Cook until the roux is light brown, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes.

Whisk in the wine, stock mixture, mustard and fresh rosemary. Bring to a boil, whisking to blend. Boil until the gravy coats a spoon, about 3 minutes.

Add the neck, heart and gizzards, if desired. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey.

*Golden Turkey Stock

Bon Appetit, November 2008

4½ lbs. turkey wings, cut in ½

1 lg. onion, chopped

1 lg. carrot, chopped

1 lg. stalk celery, chopped

6 fresh Italian, flat-leaf, parsley sprigs

1 bay leaf

½ tsp. dried thyme

¼ tsp. whole black peppercorns

Preheat oven to 400º F. Arrange wings in a large roasting pan. Roast until deep brown, turning once, about 2 hours. Transfer wings to a bowl.

Spoon 3 Tbsp. turkey fat from the roasting pan into a large soup pot (reserve roasting pan). Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pot and sauté over medium-high heat until the veggies are golden, about 20 minutes.

Add turkey wings to pot. Add 2 cups of water to the roasting pan; place over 2 burners and bring to a boil, scraping the brown bits up. Add liquid to the pot, then remaining ingredients and enough cold water to cover the wings by one inch.

Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low; simmer uncovered until stock is very flavorful and reduced to 7 ½-8 cups, about 2 ½ hours.

Strain the stock into a large bowl. Cool 1 hour, then chill until cold, about 3 hours. Spoon off any fat before using.

This can be made 3 days ahead or frozen several weeks before using.

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