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Turkey with Peppery Milk Gravy

Yield 12 to 15 servings


  • 1 (13- to 15-pound) turkey
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 quarts buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups dry sherry, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 white bread slices, torn
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk

How to Make It

  1. Remove giblets and neck from turkey, and discard. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Sprinkle turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Place turkey in a deep roasting pan; pour buttermilk over top. Cover and chill 8 hours, turning several times.

  2. Drain turkey, discarding marinade; place turkey, breast side up, in a shallow roasting pan; tuck wing tips under. Combine 1 cup sherry and next 4 ingredients; spoon into cavity. Close cavity with skewers, and truss. Brush turkey with melted butter. Insert a meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh.

  3. Bake at 350° for 4 hours or until meat thermometer registers 180°, basting with remaining sherry every 15 minutes. Remove turkey; reserve 1/4 cup drippings. Discard stuffing.

  4. Heat reserved 1/4 cup drippings in a heavy saucepan; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add milk; cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture is thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.