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Traditional Turkey with Giblet Gravy


12 pound turkey - thawed
2 medium onions - cut in 8ths, divided
3 medium celery stalks - cut in 3rds - divided
4 cloves garlic - cut in half - divided
1 cup fresh chopped parsley - divided
Olive oil
5 cups water
1/2 tsp salt - or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325F.

Remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities; set aside (discard liver). Drain juices and dry turkey with paper towels. Place half of the onion, celery, garlic and parsley in body cavity of turkey. Place turkey, breast side up, on flat rack in shallow roasting pan. Coat skin with olive oil.

Roast turkey 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours or until it is 180F in the thigh area. Cover breast and top of drumsticks with foil after 1 1/2 hours to prevent overcooking of breast.

To make Giblet Stock, place neck, heart, gizzard and remaining onion, celery, garlic and parsley in large saucepan or Dutch oven. (For best flavor, do not include the liver) Add the water, salt and black pepper. Bring JUST to a boil, reduce heat, cover tightly and simmer 1 1/2 hours. (If wish to include the liver, add to saucepan the last 20 to 30 minutes.) Strain stock, cover and refrigerate. Pull meat from neck and discard bones. Finely chop neck meat, heart and gizzard; cover and refrigerate.

To make Giblet Gravy, strain pan drippings from turkey into a 4-cup glass measure. Remove fat from drippings, placing 1/4 cup fat in a medium saucepan and discarding the rest. Stir in flour until smooth. Add reserved Giblet Stock to pan drippings to make 4 cups. Slowly add drippings to flour mixture and stir until smooth. Cook and stir until gravy boils and thickens slightly. Stir in neck meat and giblets and heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

If so desired - you may strain to end with a smooth gravy

NOTE: Giblet Identification, Heart: muscular organ that is heart shaped and is deep burgundy to reddish brown in color. Gizzard: firm muscular organ that is reddish brown with bluish exterior. Liver: softer, uniform reddish brown gland.

Cooking time - over 1 hour

Yield 16 servings



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