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Thyme-Roasted Turkey With Gingersnap Gravy


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  • 1/2 cup butter - (1 stick) room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 turkey - (15 to 16 lbs) neck, gizzard, and heart reserved
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups very coarsely-chopped onions - (to 3)
  • 5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth more or less
  • GRAVY:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 large shallots chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 9 gingersnap cookies - (2 oz) crumbled (3/4 cup)
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste


Servings 10


Step 1

For thyme butter: Mix first 5 ingredients in small bowl to blend. (Thyme butter can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)

For turkey: Set rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry with paper towels. Discard any pieces of fat from cavities. Sprinkle main cavity of turkey with salt and pepper. Starting at neck end, carefully slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin. Spread 3 tablespoons thyme butter over breast meat under skin.

If stuffing turkey, spoon stuffing into neck and main cavities. If not stuffing, place 6 thyme sprigs and 1/2 cup onions in main cavity. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together to hold shape. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Rub 4 tablespoons thyme butter over outside of turkey. Cover turkey breast loosely with foil. Scatter 2 1/2 cups onions and reserved turkey parts in pan around turkey. Pour 2 cups broth into pan.

Roast turkey 1 1/2 hours, lifting foil to baste with pan juices every 30 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups broth to roasting pan. Roast turkey 30 minutes; baste with pan juices. Add 1 cup broth to pan. Remove foil. Continue to roast turkey until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175 degrees, basting turkey with pan juices every 30 minutes and adding 1/2 cup broth to pan if juices evaporate, about 1 hour longer for unstuffed turkey and 1 hour 30 minutes longer for stuffed.

Transfer turkey to platter. Brush turkey with remaining thyme butter. Tent turkey loosely with foil; let stand 30 minutes (internal temperature of turkey will increase 5 to 10 degrees). Discard neck, gizzard, and heart from roasting pan. Strain turkey pan juices into large measuring cup. Spoon fat from top of pan juices; discard fat.

Meanwhile, prepare gravy: Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon chopped thyme, ginger, and cayenne; stir 1 minute. Add broth; increase heat to high and boil until liquid is reduced to 3 cups, about 12 minutes.

Add turkey pan juices, gingersnap cookies, and any accumulated juices from turkey platter to gravy base in saucepan. Boil until gravy is thick enough to coat spoon, whisking to dissolve gingersnaps, about 2 minutes. Mix in remaining 1 tablespoon chopped thyme. Season gravy to taste with salt and pepper. Serve turkey with gravy.

This recipe yields 10 servings.

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