Roast Turkey with Madeira Gravy

Roast Turkey with Madeira Gravy

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, Holiday Issue 1996

This gorgeous herb-rubbed turkey—complete with luscious gravy—is the quintessential holiday centerpiece. It is particularly fitting for Thanksgiving because Madeira, a fortified wine from the Portuguese island of the same name, flowed like water through the Colonies, having arrived here as ballast in ships. Sweet and mellow, reminiscent of sherry, Madeira beautifully enhances a turkey gravy.

Ingredients 8 servings

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  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 12- to 14-pound turkey with giblets
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup dry white wine, for basting
  • ½ cup Madeira
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water


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  1. Set oven rack in the bottom of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Set a wire roasting rack in a large roasting pan and coat the rack with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare turkey: Combine parsley, thyme, rosemary, shallots and 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl. Season with salt.
  3. Reserve giblets and neck for the stock; discard the liver. Remove any visible fat from the turkey. Rinse it inside and out with cold water and pat dry. Season the cavity with salt and pepper and place onion in cavity.
  4. With your fingers, separate the turkey skin from the breast meat, taking care not to tear the skin or pierce the meat. Smear the herb mixture between the flesh and the skin on both sides of the breastbone. Tie the drumsticks together and tuck the wing tips behind the back. Set the turkey, breast-side up, in the prepared roasting pan and tent with foil.
  5. Roast the turkey for 2 hours.
  6. Meanwhile, to prepare giblet stock: Heat 1½ teaspoons oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrots, celery and the turkey neck and giblets. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 15 minutes. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Strain the giblet stock through a fine sieve (you should have about 2 cups). Chill until ready to use.
  7. After the turkey has been in the oven for 2 hours, remove the foil and continue roasting, basting with white wine from time to time, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180°F, 45 minutes to 1¼ hours longer. Transfer the turkey to a carving board. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
  8. To prepare gravy: While the turkey is resting, pour the drippings from the roasting pan through a strainer into a small bowl, then place the bowl in the freezer for 20 minutes to solidify the fat. Add Madeira to the roasting pan and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, for about 1 minute; strain into a medium saucepan. Skim the fat from the giblet stock and add the stock to the pan. Skim the fat from the chilled pan juices and add the juices to the pan as well. Bring to a simmer. Add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering sauce, whisking until the gravy has thickened slightly. Season with pepper.
  9. Remove strings from turkey and carve, discarding the skin. Serve with the Madeira gravy.
  • Madeira, a fortified wine from the Portuguese island of Madeira, flowed like water through the Colonies; it arrived here as ballast in ships. Its sweet and mellow, flavour is somewhat like sherry.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 126 calories; 4 g fat(1 g sat); 0 g fiber; 2 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 25 mcg folate; 77 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 797 IU vitamin A; 1 mg vitamin C; 15 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 95 mg sodium; 246 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 0
  • Exchanges: 2½ lean meat

Reviews 2

November 25, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I too have used this recipe many times since it was first published in Eating Well. I always have much moister breast meat with this recipe than anyone I know.
November 24, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I LOVE this gravy! it is light and delicate tasting yet full of flavor. I have been doing this gravy every year since the first year it was published. I have tried many other gravies as well but always end up with this one! Highly recommend it!
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