Roast Turkey with Riesling Gravy

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 5h 5m
  • Rating ****

Serves 12 Tip: To avoid serving a greasy gravy with your turkey, strain the roasting juices into a fat separator. The fat rises into the spout allowing you to pour it off before making the gravy.


  • One (18-pound turkey), wing tips, neck and giblets reserved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 large celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 2 large shallots, thickly sliced
  • 12 large fresh sage leaves, plus additional sprigs for garnish
  • 12 large fresh thyme sprigs, plus additional sprigs for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Turkey stock and reserved turkey giblets
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semidry Riesling


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper and fill it with half of the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and shallots along with the 12 sage leaves, 12 thyme sprigs, and the bay leaves. Tie the legs together with string, wrapping it around the tail to close the cavity.

Rub the turkey all over with 2 tablespoons of the butter and season with salt and pepper. Spread the remaining vegetables in a large roasting pan and set the turkey on top. Add 1 cup of the Turkey Stock to the pan. Roast the bird for 1 1/2 hours, basting generously and adding 1 more cup of stock to the pan after 1 hour.

Add another 1/2 cup of stock to the pan and cover the turkey breast loosely with foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Roast the turkey for 1-1/2 hours longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh reaches 165 degrees; baste often and add another 1/2 cup of stock to the pan after 1 hour. If the turkey isn't nicely browned, remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Turn the oven off and leave the turkey in for about 1 hour, or until the temperature of the inner thigh reaches 180 degrees. Transfer the bird to a large platter, cover loosely with foil and let rest for up to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, strain the roasting juices into a medium saucepan; reserve the vegetables. Add the remaining 3 cups stock to the pan and bring to a simmer, skimming as necessary.

In a large nonreactive saucepan, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add the reserved vegetables and stir in the flour. Cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very thick and brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until very thick again.

Gradually whisk the hot stock and roasting juices into the gravy base and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Strain the gravy into a medium saucepan and simmer gently over low heat for about 15 minutes, skimming occasionally; you should have about 4 cups. Add stock if the gravy is too thick. Finely chop the reserved giblets that were cooked in the stock and stir them into the gravy; simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Discard the string and the vegetables from the turkey. Garnish the bird with the sage and thyme sprigs. Carve the turkey at the table and pass the gravy alongside.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 1756

nutrition information per serving

880 calories; 42g total fat; 381mg cholesterol; 276mg sodium; 9g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 110g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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