The secret to this flavorful gravy is the whole bottle of wine that simmers in the roasting pan while the turkey cooks. It adds acidity and brightness to the pan drippings, plus it helps to keep the meat moist while cooking. Any dry white will do, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.

EatingWell Magazine, November 2021


Credit: Victor Protasio

Recipe Summary

1 hr 15 mins
1 day 3 hrs 30 mins


Turkey & Dry Brine
Giblet Stock, Roasting Pan & Gravy


Instructions Checklist
  • To brine turkey: Remove neck and giblets from turkey and set aside in the refrigerator for the giblet stock. Drain any liquid from the turkey cavity. Place the turkey on a rack set in a roasting pan. Dry the cavity and skin well with paper towels. Gently loosen skin, running fingers between it and the meat. Mix 1 tablespoon each chopped parsley, rosemary, thyme sage and salt and ground pepper in a small bowl. Rub half the mixture under the skin and the other half on the skin. Refrigerate the turkey, uncovered and breast-side up, for at least 24 hours and for up to 48 hours.

  • Meanwhile, prepare stock: Place the reserved neck and giblets in a large saucepan, along with 1 onion, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 2 garlic cloves and peppercorns. Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer and cook, uncovered, for 2 hours, skimming fat and foam as needed. Strain through a fine sieve into a measuring cup (discard solids). You should have 2 to 2 1/2 cups stock. Set aside in the refrigerator.

  • When ready to roast the turkey, position rack in the lower third of oven; preheat to 475°F. Let the turkey stand at room temperature while the oven heats. Place lemon, the remaining 4 garlic cloves, parsley leaves, rosemary sprigs, thyme sprigs and sage leaves in the cavity. Fill the rest of the cavity with some of the remaining onions, carrots and celery. Place any remaining vegetables in the roasting pan. Rub oil over the turkey. Pour wine into the pan.

  • Place the pan in the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°. Roast the turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast and the innermost part of the thigh registers 165°F, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

  • Transfer the turkey (still on the rack to keep the skin toward the bottom from getting too soggy) to a cutting board. Let rest for at least 20 minutes.

  • While the turkey rests, make gravy: Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the pan and discard. Pour the drippings into a fat separator or a large measuring cup. Set the pan over 2 burners on medium heat. If using flour as a thickener, add 2 tablespoons of the separated fat to the pan and sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour; whisk to combine. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup flour. While whisking, slowly add 2 cups stock and 2 cups defatted drippings and bring to a simmer. (You should have about 1/2 cup leftover drippings—reserve to adjust the consistency of the gravy before serving.) Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. If using cornstarch as a thickener, whisk it with 1/3 cup stock in a small bowl. Add the remaining 1 2/3 cups stock and 2 cups defatted drippings to the pan and bring to a simmer. While whisking, slowly add the cornstarch mixture and whisk until thickened.

  • Pour the gravy into a serving bowl or gravy boat and stir in finely chopped herbs. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

To make ahead

Dry-brine turkey (Step 1) up to 2 days ahead. Refrigerate giblet stock (Step 2) for up to 2 days.


Thawing a turkey in the refrigerator takes at least 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of meat. But if you find your bird is still partially frozen on Thanksgiving morning, try this quick-thaw method that only takes 30 minutes per pound: Submerge your wrapped turkey in a sink filled with cold water. Switch out the water every hour to ensure you maintain a safe temperature.

Nutrition Facts

3 oz. turkey & 1/4 cup gravy
366 calories; fat 12g; cholesterol 147mg; sodium 636mg; carbohydrates 8g; dietary fiber 1g; protein 42g; sugars 1g; niacin equivalents 15mg; saturated fat 3g; vitamin a iu 1195IU; vitamin b6 1mg; potassium 459mg.