WHB – Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus

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I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday had a wonderful holiday! We were too busy cooking and eating for me to take many pictures, but I did manage to get a couple of pictures of the turkey, a before and after shot! It’s a good thing too, because I can use it for this weeks Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by What’s on My Plate.

I have used this turkey recipe from Giada for 3 years in a row now, and I love it! It’s perfect for weekend herb blogging because it is loaded with herbs! The turkey is stuffed with citrus, an onion and fresh herb sprigs (I used rosemary, thyme, and sage). The outside of the turkey and under the skin is rubbed with a mixture of melted butter and Herbes de Provence. Herbes de Provence (according to Wikipedia) is a mixture of dried herbs from Provence invented in the 1970s. It typically contains rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf, thyme, and sometimes lavender. Mine from The Spice Hunter contained thyme, marjoram, rosemary, basil, fennel, sage, and lavender.

What I really love about this recipe, besides the fact that the turkey comes out perfect everytime is the fabulous gravy that it makes! As the turkey cooks, fresh herbs combine with the giblets and chicken broth in the bottom of the pan. While the turkey is resting, you strain the broth, add some butter and flour, a little salt and pepper, and you have the best turkey gravy ever!

Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

1 (14 to 15-pound) turkey, neck and giblets reserved
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 onion, cut into wedges
6 fresh rosemary sprigs 6 fresh sage sprigs
6 fresh oregano sprigs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (approximate amount)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

To make the turkey: Position the rack in the lowest third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the turkey on a rack set inside a large roasting pan. Place the orange and lemon wedges, onion, and 2 sprigs of each fresh herb in the main turkey cavity. Tie the legs together to hold the shape of the turkey. Stir 2 tablespoons of butter, the herbes de Provence, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of each the salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until the butter melts. Rub the butter mixture all over the turkey and between the turkey breast meat and skin. Place the turkey neck and giblets in roasting pan. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before roasting.)

Cover the turkey breast with foil. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour 3 cups of broth into the pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining sprigs of fresh herbs to the pan. Roast the turkey for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the foil from the turkey; pour 1 more cup of broth into the pan. Continue roasting the turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F to 175 degrees F or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 1 hour and 30 minutes longer. Transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes while preparing the gravy.

To make the gravy: Strain the turkey pan juices from the roasting pan through a sieve and into a 4-cup glass measuring cup; discard the solids. Spoon off the fat from atop the pan juices. Add enough chicken broth, about 1 to 2 cups, to the pan juices to measure 4 cups total. Melt the remaining butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth. Simmer until the gravy thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the turkey with the gravy.

I know the photo is not all that great, the turkey was just resting on the cutting board. I wanted you to see how wonderfully golden and brown it gets, and all of the crusty, roasted herbs.

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  1. says

    I think that’s a gorgeous looking turkey. (And I do know from experience that a whole turkey is very hard to get a good photo of!) I can imagine the gravy must taste like heaven, with the combo of citrus, herbs, and turkey flavor!

  2. says

    Gorgeous turkey! I have stuffed chickens like that and love them (but not with an orange…I’ll have to try that next time)
    And the gravy…the best part of the meal and when it’s good, it’s very, very good….

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