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Classic Roast Turkey with Gravy

This Thanksgiving show stopper is easy to make and perfect every time. Just a few simple spices, one juicy orange and its own pan juices deliver the perfect holiday main course.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 8 people


For the Turkey

  • 1 12 pound fresh Kosher turkey or fully thawed frozen turkey
  • 1+ cup Kosher chicken stock or canned low salt chicken broth for basting
  • 1 orange large
  • 4 tbsp. melted margarine
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 yellow onion medium, cut in quarters
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • kitchen twine

For the Gravy

  • 2 cups Kosher chicken stock or canned low salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove giblets from turkey and thoroughly wash turkey inside and out, removing any excess fat and feathers. Pat the outside dry with paper towels.
  3. Place turkey in a large roasting pan and generously salt and pepper the bird inside and out. Slice orange in half and fill the cavity with the orange, onion and thyme.
  4. Mix melted margarine, oil and paprika and brush the outside of the turkey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Tie turkey legs together with twine and tuck the wings under the turkey.
  6. Roast Turkey uncovered for 2 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with its own juices. I like to pour a little chicken stock over the turkey once or twice during the cooking process when I baste (no more than a 1/4 cup) at a time, to create more gravy for later but you can omit this step if you choose.
  7. The turkey is done when the temperature reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer when placed in the breast, or 180 degrees in the thigh.
  8. Remove turkey from pan and let it rest on a cutting board for 15 -20 minutes, covered lightly in foil, before slicing. Serve with pan juices.

To Make a Thick Gravy

  1. While the turkey is resting, place roasting pan across two stove burners on mdeium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir the pan juices and brown bits on the bottom of the pan for about 8 minutes, until liquid thickens.
  2. Add flour and cook for 1 minute until well blended. Slowly whisk in stock and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Taste to make sure gravy does not taste too floury. If necessary, add water, 1/4 cup at a time, to thin gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.