Herbes de Provence is a French-style combination of herbs. Spread over the turkey before roasting, it gives the finished bird a wonderful flavour, aroma and appearance.
One 12-14 lb. fresh or frozen (thawed) grade A or free-range turkey
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp herbes de Provence
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3-1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Step 2: Place the turkey in a roasting pan. Remove the neck and innards from the cavity. Place the neck in the roasting pan and discard the innards unless you want — and know how — to use them. Tie the legs together with string; fold and tuck the wings under the body.
Step 3: Combine the butter and herbes de Provence in a bowl. Brush over the surface of the turkey; season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Roast the turkey uncovered for 1-1/2 hours, and then give the roasting pan a 180-degree turn. Roast the turkey another 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Step 5: Insert an instant-read meat thermometer deep into an inner thigh of the turkey, not touching the bone. If it reads 170°F, the turkey is ready. If not, baste the bird with the pan juices and roast 15-30 minutes more, or until the 170°F temperature is achieved. Transfer the turkey and neck to a large platter, tent with foil and let it rest until you’re ready to carve, at least 15 minutes.
Step 6: To make the gravy, skim the fat from the pan drippings. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Add 3 cups of the stock and bring to a boil.
Step 7: Place the flour and the remaining 1/2 cup stock in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk the mixture into the pan and simmer until the gravy thickens, about 5 minutes.
Step 8: Carve the turkey and serve the gravy in a sauceboat alongside.
Note: Before roasting, stuff the bird with your favourite stuffing.
See more recipes from Eric Akis.
Reprinted with permission from Eric Akis's Everyone Can Cook Everything (2012 Whitecap Books).