Updated Dec 21, 2018Chatelaine
butter, at room temperature
chopped fresh thyme
chopped fresh sage
turkey, thawed if purchased frozen
- PREHEAT oven to 450F. Set a large wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Stir ½ cup butter with thyme, sage and salt in a small bowl.
- PAT turkey very dry with paper towels. Reserve giblets for gravy. Spatchcock the turkey (see below). Rub herbed butter underneath and over skin of turkey. Season with fresh pepper. Arrange turkey on top of rack so that it does not overlap the edges.
- ROAST turkey in centre of oven for 30 min. Reduce heat to 400F. Cover turkey with foil if it is browning too quickly. Continue roasting, rotating halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 170°F, and the thighs register at least 180°F, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 min more.
- TO make gravy, coarsely chop the neck, backbone and giblets. Cover with water in a saucepan and add bay leaves. Boil, then reduce heat to medium. Gently boil until liquid is reduced to 2 cups, about 45 min. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a measuring cup and discard solids. Skim off any fat from the surface of the broth.
- MELT 2 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until flour is golden brown, about 1 min. Whisking constantly, add sherry and cook until mixture is smooth, 1 min. Add broth in a thin, steady stream until combined. Boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until gravy is reduced to about 2 cups, about 20 more min. Season with fresh pepper. Cover to keep warm.
- TRANSFER turkey to a cutting board. Tent loosely with foil and let rest for 20 min before carving. Carefully pour any juices from baking sheet through a fine-mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup. Skim off excess fat and discard. Whisk juices into gravy.
- Kitchen Tip: Ask the butcher to cut out the backbone from turkey, if needed.