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Thanksgiving dinner 2007: The main course

Joy Mayer's citrus herb turkey
Monday, November 19, 2007 | 9:16 a.m. CST; updated 10:42 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ingredients

1 (14- to 15-pound) turkey, neck and giblets reserved

In case of fire, turkey or cranberry emergency

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1 orange, cut into a few slices and the rest wedges

1 lemon, cut into a few slices and the rest wedges

1 onion, cut into wedges

6 fresh rosemary sprigs

6 fresh sage sprigs

6 fresh oregano sprigs

7 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons herbes de Provence

1 tablespoon olive oil

1½ teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (approximate amount)

½ cup all-purpose flour

To make the turkey

1. Position the rack in the lowest third of the oven and preheat to 400 F.

2. Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the turkey on a rack set inside a large roasting pan. Place the orange and lemon wedges, onion and 2 sprigs of each fresh herb in the main turkey cavity. Tie the legs together to hold the shape of the turkey.

3. Stir 2 tablespoons of butter, the herbes de Provence, oil and 1½ teaspoons of each the salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Rub the butter mixture all over the turkey and between the turkey breast meat and skin. Place the fruit slices on the outside skin of the turkey. Place the turkey neck and giblets in roasting pan. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before roasting.)

4. Cover the turkey breast with foil. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour 3 cups of broth into the pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining sprigs of fresh herbs to the pan. Roast the turkey for 40 minutes.

5. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. Remove the foil from the turkey; pour 1 more cup of broth into the pan. Continue roasting the turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 F to 175 F or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 1 hour and 30 minutes longer. Transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes while preparing the gravy.

To make the gravy

1. Strain the turkey pan juices from the roasting pan through a sieve and into a 4-cup glass measuring cup; discard the solids. Spoon off the fat from atop the pan juices. Add enough chicken broth, about 1 to 2 cups, to the pan juices to measure 4 cups total.

2. Melt the remaining butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth. Simmer until the gravy thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the turkey with the gravy.

— Recipe shared by Joy Mayer, Missourian design editor.


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