, or 1 tbsp dried thyme
, or 1 tbsp dried oregano
, thawed if bought frozen (13-15 lb)
, cut in half
Position oven rack in bottom third of oven. Preheat to 325F. Place a rack in a roasting pan. Stir butter with herbs and salt in a small bowl.
Wash and dry turkey well. Reserve giblets. Rub herbed butter underneath and over skin of turkey. Transfer turkey to rack in pan. Bend and tuck wings under the bird and loosely tie drumsticks with twine. Pour sherry into pan along with 1/2 cup water. Cover tightly with foil.
Roast in bottom third of oven for 2 hours. Remove foil and brush turkey with maple syrup. Continue roasting, uncovered, until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 175F, about 1 more hour, for a total cook time of about 15 min per 500 g. Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Tent loosely with foil and let rest at least 25 min before carving.
Place giblets in a medium saucepan. Cover with water. Add onion and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 30 min. Strain and save liquid. Discard giblets.
Skim off any fat floating on pan juices. Place pan over 2 burners or pour juices into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium. Sprinkle in flour while whisking constantly, until smooth. Whisk in 2 cups giblet or chicken broth. Whisk until thickened, about 5 min.
Prep tip: For a stuffed turkey, stuff and roast as above. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in centre of stuffing reads 165F, about 2 more hours, for a total of about 20 min per 500 g.