Roasted turkey with stuffing served on holiday table

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Usually, the Thanksgiving turkey is stuffed with a bread-based mixture and roasted. Sage is the traditional herb added to the stuffing, along with chopped celery, carrots, and onions. Other ingredients, such as chopped chestnuts or other tree nuts, crumbled sausage, cranberries, raisins, or apples, may be added to the stuffing.

This recipe is the classic one, add your touch of vegetables, if you need, rather vegetable adds moist, and reduce the accentuated flavor of herbs. Serve roast turkey with side dishes, like, tabbouleh, cranberry sauce, caramelized apple, roasted chestnuts, baby potatoes, or simply sautéed vegetables.

Classic Thanksgiving Roast Turkey

Note: Before cooking the Thanksgiving turkey, it is better to rub the inside and outside with lemon slices.


  • 18-20 lb. turkey (younger is better)
  • 1 bouquet garni (parsley, dried thyme, bay leaf)
  • 1 medium onion, stuck with 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Turkey stock

How To Make The Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing?

  • 1 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped shallots, or onions
  • 2 tbsp dried tarragon, crushed or 4 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried sage, ground or 2 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup pine nuts or chestnuts, slightly chopped
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

How To Roast The Thanksgiving Turkey?

  1. Make the stuffing first: Over medium heat, melt the butter in a heavy skillet, with the cooking oil. Add the shallots and garlic, then “sauté” for 1 minute. Add salt, black pepper, and pine nuts or chestnuts.
  2. “Sauté” nuts for 5 minutes, or until golden, if needed reduce the heat. Add the tarragon, and sage, and stir. Finally, add bread crumbs and toss well. Taste the mixture and, if required, add more salt or black pepper. Set aside, and let the stuffing cool.
  3. Prepare the turkey for the roast: Rub the inside of the turkey with the lemon. Fill the body cavity and neck cavity with stuffing, but not too tightly.
  4. Truss the turkey and close the vent of the bird; either secure with skewers and twine or sew it up. Tie the legs together firmly, and then tie them to the tail of the bird.
  5. Mix butter with cooking oil, salt, black pepper, and cumin. Rub the turkey well. Set the rack in a fairly shallow roasting pan and place the turkey, breast side down, on the rack. Roast for 1 hour in an oven preheated to 350° F.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the turkey on one side and rub with half of the remaining softened butter.
  7. Return the turkey to the oven and roast for another hour. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the turkey on its back and rub the breast with the remaining butter.
  8. Return to the oven and continue roasting till the turkey is done. Remove from the oven and place on a hot platter. Allow the turkey to rest for 15 minutes if being served hot.

How To Make The Thanksgiving Turkey Gravy?

  1. For the gravy (you make a homemade gravy or gluten-free turkey gravy) pour off all the fat, and save 1 cup of drippings from the roasting pan. Discard the excess fat.
  2. Over medium heat, add the flour to the pan and blend thoroughly, to make a “roux”, scraping to loosen bits of caramelized drippings, and add any juices on the platter beneath the turkey.
  3. Gradually stir in 3 cups of the turkey stock and cook, stirring constantly, till the mixture thickens.
  4. Correct the seasoning, if needed, and simmer the gravy for about 15 minutes. Serve with the turkey and stuffing.

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