Oven Roasted Turkey and Homemade Turkey Gravy
Who doesn’t look forward to a traditional Thanksgiving or holiday dinner including Oven Roasted Turkey and Homemade Turkey Gravy?! It’s the base of any great holiday dinner, no matter what side dishes your family enjoys the most. Make a spectacularly tasty turkey dinner with homemade gravy by following along with our favorite method of roasting turkey!
We have adopted another method from Gordon Ramsay on this preparation, as we love using the onion and orange quarters within the cavity of the turkey (vs stuffing) and then saving them for use in the gravy later. Remember to also keep the trimmed tail and turkey giblets (usually bagged within the turkey) and put them in a sauce pan to simmer while the turkey cooks.
Last Updated: April 2nd, 2017
Perfectly roasted turkey dinner with such a tasty, easy, homemade turkey gravy!
- 1 whole turkey (we used a 15 lb turkey)
- 1+ whole oranges (quartered)
- 1 whole onion (white or yellow, quartered)
- 4 Tbsp butter (softened, room temperature)
- 1/2 tsp each, salt & pepper
- 1/2 tsp each, garlic & onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp parsley
- 8 pieces prosciutto (or bacon)
- turkey parts (trimmed tail and giblets -neck, heart, gizzard, liver)
- 1+ cups water (enough to cover the turkey parts in a saucepan)
- pancetta (or bacon, cooked - after removing from roasted turkey)
- orange and onion quarters (removed from the turkey cavity after roasting, before resting)
- 2 tomatoes (medium or large, diced)
- 2 sprigs rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
- turkey drippings (drained from roasting pan)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees C (205 degrees C) and ready your large roasting pan (if the roasting pan is flat, use a roasting rack or lay 4-5 celery stalks across the bottom of the pan to allow the oven heat to evenly cook your turkey).
Make sure that your turkey is completely thawed before cooking for best results. Remove tail and excess skin/fat, and pull the packaging within the cavity of the turkey out (usually a package containing the turkey giblets - neck, heart, gizzard, liver - and another one with gravy base). Rinse the thawed turkey including inside the body cavity, then pat dry.
Mix the herbs (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and parsley - you could also add rosemary and/or thyme, if desired) into the room temperature, softened butter. Using your fingertips, rub along the meat of the turkey breast separating it from the layer of fat and skin being careful not to poke through the skin.
In roughly 1 Tbsp portions, rub the seasoned butter under the turkey skin in 4 parts (right and left sides from the back cavity, then right and left sides from the front neck).
Cut your oranges and onions into quarters and place them within the body cavity of your turkey. Layer your prosciutto (or bacon) pieces across the top breast portion of the turkey. Leave uncovered and transfer to the oven, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Baste the cooking turkey every 45 minutes, and cook for approximately 13 minutes per pound. Start checking the temperature of the turkey at about halfway through the expected cooking time by checking the temperature in multiple places (breast, inner and outer thigh).
*For our example of a 15 pound turkey, we roasted our turkey for 2.5 hours. We basted the turkey twice during the cooking time, and removed the prosciutto for the last 30 minutes to allow the skin to turn nicely golden. We then removed the orange and onion from the cavity and transferred the turkey to a large pan, covering it loosely with aluminum foil to set and rest for a little over an hour (half your cooking time for a fully rested turkey).
Take your roasting pan and transfer all of the drippings, as well as the orange and onion pieces to a large skillet or frying pan (or you can make the gravy directly in your roasting pan, cooking over two burners - but I prefer to use a more manageable pan size).
Add diced tomatoes, chopped or broken pieces of prosciutto (or bacon) that was used on the turkey breast during roasting, the turkey broth from simmering the giblets and rosemary (sprigs or dried spices).
*The packaged gravy that is usually within the cavity can be added as well.
Bring to a low boil over medium high heat, then reduce to low and simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Place a fine sieve over a large bowl and strain the gravy. Return to your roasting pan, skillet, or frying pan if you would like a thicker gravy.
Add flour in small doses, starting with 2 Tbsp mixed with equal parts cold water until smooth. Whisk the flour/water mixture into your turkey gravy and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Test consistency, and repeat if necessary.