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Delta Roasted Turkey With Million-Dollar Gravy

Prep time 30 mins
Soak time 15 mins
Bake time 3 hrs, 30 mins
Stand time 20 mins
Yield Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • Cheesecloth
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 5 thick hickory-smoked bacon slices
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 (14-lb.) whole fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
  • Kitchen string
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

How to Make It

  1. Cut cheesecloth into a 3- x 3-ft. square. (Cheesecloth should be large enough to wrap around entire turkey.) Soak cheesecloth in 1 cup broth 15 minutes. Wring out cheesecloth, discarding excess broth. Lay cheesecloth on top of a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Place bacon in center of cheesecloth.

  2. Preheat oven to 500°. Combine 1/2 cup softened butter, salt, and pepper. Remove giblets and neck from turkey, and pat turkey dry with paper towels. Loosen and lift skin from turkey breast with fingers, without totally detaching skin; rub about one-third of butter mixture underneath skin. Carefully replace skin, and rub remaining butter mixture over outside of turkey. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen string; tuck wingtips under. Place turkey, breast side down, on top of bacon in roasting pan. Lift sides of cheesecloth up and over turkey. Twist ends of cheesecloth together, and secure tightly with string. Trim excess cheesecloth and string.

  3. Stir together wine, next 4 ingredients, and 1 cup broth. Pour into roasting pan.

  4. Bake turkey at 500° for 30 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, heat 1 cup butter and 1/2 cup broth in a saucepan over low heat just until butter is melted. Pour mixture over turkey. Reduce oven temperature to 300º, and bake 2 1/2 hours, basting with pan drippings every 30 minutes.

  6. Remove turkey from oven, and increase oven temperature to 400°. Carefully transfer turkey to a cutting board, using clean dish towels. Remove and discard cheesecloth and bacon. Carefully return turkey, breast side up, to roasting pan.

  7. Bake turkey at 400° for 30 minutes or until skin is golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 170° to 175°. Transfer turkey to a serving platter, reserving pan drippings in roasting pan. Let turkey stand 20 minutes before carving.

  8. Pour pan drippings through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove excess fat from surface of drippings.

  9. Pour 2 cups drippings into a medium saucepan; stir in remaining 1 cup broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Combine flour and 2 Tbsp. butter to form a smooth paste. Whisk butter mixture into broth mixture, and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with turkey.