1990s Recipes + Menus
Roast Turkey with Herbed Oyster Stuffing and Giblet Gravy
For the stuffing
- Two 1/2-pound loaves of day-old Italian or French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
- 1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon dried thyme, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves or 2 teaspoons dried sage, crumbled
- 2/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 18 oysters, shucked and chopped, reserving the liquor for another use
- A 12- to 14-pound turkey, the neck and giblets (excluding the liver) reserved for making turkey giblet stock
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unslated butter, softened
- 1 cup turkey giblet stock or chicken broth
For the gravy
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups turkey giblet stock, including the reserved cooked neck and giblets
Garnish:parsley sprigs and thyme sprigs
Make the stuffing:
In 2 shallow baking pans or jelly-roll pans arrange the bread cubes in one layer, bake them in a preheated 325°F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden, and transfer them to a large bowl. In a large skillet cook the bacon over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is crisp, transfer it with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, and pour off all but about 1/4 cup of the fat. In the fat remaining in the skillet cook the garlic, the onion, and the celery with the thyme and the sage over moderately low heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened and transfer the mixture to the bowl. Add the parsley, the melted butter, the oysters, the bacon, and salt and pepper to taste, toss the stuffing well, and let if cool completely.
Rinse the turkey, pat it dry, and season it inside and out with salt and pepper. Pack the neck cavity loosely with some of the stuffing, fold the neck skin under the body, and fasten it with a skewer. Pack the body cavity loosely with some of the remaining stuffing and truss the turkey. Transfer the remaining stuffing to a buttered 3-quart baking dish and reserve it, covered and chilled.
Spread the turkey with 1/2 stick of the butter and roast it on a rack in a roasting pan in a preheated 425°F. oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325°F., baste the turkey with the pan juices, and drape it with a piece of cheesecloth, soaked in the remaining 1 stick butter, melted and cooled. Roast the turkey, basting it every 20 minutes, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours more, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the fleshy part of a thigh registers 180°F. and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer. During the last 1 1/2 hours of roasting, drizzle the reserved stuffing with the stock, bake it, covered, in the 325°F. oven for 1 hour, and bake it, uncovered, for 30 minutes more. Discard the cheesecloth and string from the turkey, transfer the turkey to a heated platter, reserving the juices in the roasting pan, keep it warm, covered loosely with foil.
Make the gravy:
Skim all of the fat from the roasting pan juices, reserving 1/3 cup of the fat, and add the wine to the pan. Deglaze the pan over moderately high heat, scraping up the brown bits, and boil the mixture until it is reduced by half. In a saucepan combine the reserved fat and the flour and cook the roux over moderately low heat, whisking, for 3 minutes. Add the stock and the wine mixture in a stream, whisking, and simmer the gravy, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the reserved cooked giblets and neck meat, chopped, and salt and pepper to taste, simmer the gravy for 2 minutes, and transfer it to a heated sauceboat.
Garnish the turkey with the parsley and thyme sprigs and serve it with the gravy and the stuffing.
- The stuffing may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.
- To prevent bacterial growth, do not stuff the turkey cavities in advance.