Traditional Roast Turkey with Gravy

This is a traditionally flavored roast turkey recipe. Using apples and onions to stuff the turkey keeps the turkey moist. The complimentary rosemary and sage herbs pair with the turkey wonderfully. The brine is flavored with allspice berries and peppercorns that give the turkey a nice subtle spice. An apple inspired dressing would be a great accompaniment to this turkey.


  • 1 14-16 lb turkey, thawed, gizzards and neck removed


  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1 1/2 gallons heavily iced water
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary


  • 1 large sweet onion, cut in wedges
  • 2 sweet apples, cut in wedges
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • a few sprigs of fresh sage
  • canola or peanut oil


  • 4 tablespoons pan juices
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups turkey stock

Turkey stock

  • turkey neck
  • giblets
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 5 cups water


  1. Add salt, sugar, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, sage, allspice berries, and rosemary to a large sauce pot. Add 1/2 gallon of the water and bring to a boil. Boil until onions are soft. Let the mixture cool, and add to a large pot or container, large enough for your bird. Add the heavily iced water, and make sure the mixture is ice cold before adding the bird. Add the bird and brine for 8-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the bird and discard the brine. Rinse bird very well and pat dry. Place on roasting rack. Rub with oil. Stuff with onions, apples, and fresh herbs. Roast bird for about 30 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce to 350 degrees. Roast until internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast is 161 degrees. When the bird has reached temperature, remove from oven and wrap with aluminum foil for at least 15 minutes before carving.
  3. While turkey is cooking, make the stock for the gravy. Add the turkey neck, gizzards, and spices to a saucepan. Add 5 cups of water. Bring to boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 2 hours, while turkey is roasting. Stock is done when meat is coming away from the neck bone. Strain stock before using. Either make the gravy in the roasting pan, or scrap all pan drippings into a skillet to make the gravy. Sprinkle in enough flour to make a roux. You need about 1 tablespoon per tablespoon of pan drippings, per cup of liquid. Cook the roux until it has browned, and is fragrant. Whisk in turkey stock. Bring back to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
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One Response to “Traditional Roast Turkey with Gravy”

  1. Pingback: Simple Thanksgiving Dinner « A Simple Kitchen

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