Salting the turkey and refrigerating it for 24 hours lets the seasoning spread throughout the meat and keeps moisture in. You get the benefits of brining, but it takes up less space in the refrigerator. To keep the breast area of the turkey moist, cover it tightly with aluminum foil to deflect heat and slow the cooking.

Rick Rodgers
Recipe by Cooking Light November 2004


Recipe Summary

12 servings (serving size: 6 ounces turkey and 1/3 cup gravy)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Remove the giblets and neck from turkey, and reserve them for Homemade Turkey Stock. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim the excess fat. Sprinkle 4 teaspoons salt over the turkey and in body cavity; refrigerate, uncovered, 24 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 325°.

  • Rinse the turkey with cold water; pat dry. Stuff body cavity with onion, celery, herbs, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Sprinkle turkey with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover breast with foil. Bake at 325° for 2 hours, basting turkey with 1/3 cup broth every 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake an additional 1 3/4 hours or until thermometer registers 180°, basting turkey with broth every 30 minutes. Remove turkey from oven. Cover turkey loosely with foil, and let stand for 30 minutes before carving. Reserve pan drippings. Discard skin.

  • Cook the sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain and set sausage aside.

  • Place a zip-top plastic bag in a 2-cup measure. Pour drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise). Seal bag, and snip 1 bottom corner. Drain into a medium saucepan; stop before fat reaches opening. Reserve 1 tablespoon fat; discard remaining fat. Cook reserved fat and flour in roasting pan over medium heat 1 minute; stir constantly with a whisk. Add drippings, 3 cups broth, and sausage. Combine cornstarch and water; add to pan. Bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until thick; stir constantly.

Nutrition Facts

353 calories; calories from fat 28%; fat 11.1g; saturated fat 3.6g; mono fat 2.8g; poly fat 3.1g; protein 54.5g; carbohydrates 4.8g; fiber 0.2g; cholesterol 144mg; iron 3.2mg; sodium 603mg; calcium 45mg.