Classic Roast Turkey

A classic, yummy take on the Thanksgiving turkey.

Classic Roast Turkey

Start with a pasture-raised heritage turkey. Wash and pat it dry. Season inside and out with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs like rosemary, sage and marjoram. Rub outside skin with butter. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place turkey breast-side down on a roasting rack; cook for 13 minutes per pound. Turn over halfway through roasting. (For a commercial-grocery-store turkey, roast for 20 minutes per pound, half of the time covered, half uncovered.) For safety, all poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Wild Rice Mushroom Stuffing

Makes 6 cups

  • 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • ½ cup toasted, chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup hot turkey stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté mushrooms in melted butter in a sauté pan until lightly browned. Add apples, onions and celery and sauté until tender. Mix wild rice, sage, walnuts and cranberries in a bowl, and stir in turkey stock to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. If you are planning to stuff the turkey cavity (the traditional approach), cool the stuffing first. To bake the stuffing separately (the current trend), lightly oil a baking dish and fill with stuffing. Lightly cover the stuffing with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes; remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until stuffing is slightly browned and heated through.

Turkey Gravy

Makes 2 cups

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tbs. butter
  • ¼ tsp. dried rubbed sage
  • ¼ tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crushed
  • 1 tbs. potato starch
  • 2 cups turkey stock and pan drippings
  • ¼ cup apple cider or cold water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh sage and rosemary (if desired, to garnish)

In a small saucepan, sauté minced shallot in butter over low heat until caramelized, or light golden brown. Add dried sage and rosemary and sauté one minute. Mix in potato starch, then set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine stock and cider, and bring to a simmer. Stir the potato starch mixture into the simmering stock and stir until gravy is thickened. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Garnish with fresh sage and rosemary.

Photography by Terry Brennan, Food styling by Betsy Nelson

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