- Gravy Base: Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until deep brown, about 40 minutes. Mix in rosemary and thyme, then flour; stir 1 minute. Add vinegar and honey; simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. (Can make ahead 1 day. Cover and chill.)
- Turkey: Mix butter and herbs in small bowl. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry. Place on rack in large roasting pan. Sprinkle inside and out with salt & freshly ground pepper. Starting with neck end, slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin. Spread 1/4 cup herb butter over breast meat under skin. Rub remaining butter over outside of turkey. Place turkey parts and onion quarters in pan around turkey. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
- Set rack in lowest position in oven and preheat to 350-degrees. If stuffing turkey, spoon stuffing loosely into main cavity and neck cavity. Tuck wing tips under; the legs together loosely to hold shape. Roast turkey uncovered 1 hour. Tent turkey breast and tops of drumsticks loosely with foil; roast 1 hour longer. Add 1 cup wine (or broth), herb sprigs, and bay leaf to drippings in pan. Continue to roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175-degrees, basting with 3/4 cup broth and pan juices every 30 minutes, about 2 hours 30 minutes longer for unstuffed and 3 hours longer for stuffed. Transfer turkey to platter; let stand 30 minutes (internal temperature will increase 5-10 degrees.)
- Strain pan juices into 8-cup measuring cup; spoon fat off top. Heat gravy base over medium heat. Whisk in flour, then pan juices. Boil until gravy is reduced to 7 cups, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Serve turkey with gravy. (14 servings)
WILD RICE DRESSING with APPLES & CHESTNUTS
~ A delightful change from traditional dressing and easily doubled for more hungry guests or if stuffing turkey.
1 cup wild rice
1 (7.25 oz. jar peeled whole chestnuts, halved)
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casing removed and crumbled
1 large chopped Spanish or sweet onion
1 chopped red pepper
2 unpeeled, 1/2-inch cubed tart apples (e.g. Granny Smith)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (2 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 cup organic chicken broth
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
- Cook wild rice in large saucepan of salted boiling water until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain.
- Combine cooked rice, chestnuts, and parsley in large bowl.
- Saute sausage and onion until meat is browned and cooked through, stirring frequently breaking up meat with fork. Drain excess grease and add olive oil. Add red pepper, apples and thyme and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Stir in chicken broth, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Pour sausage mixture over rice and stir to combine. Season with salt & pepper. (At this point, either continue or cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
- Butter 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Transfer mixture into dish and bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. (8 servings)
Wine suggestion: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.