My Turkey and Gravy Recipe

I made a turkey for my son's class Thanksgiving lunch. Lots of folks asked for the recipe, so I'm publishing it.


I recently bought a pressure cooker which turns out to be one of the best purchases I've made in a long time... kitchen-wise anyway.

To make the gravy, I cooked chicken carcases for a long time with onions, carrots, and celery.


4 chicken carcases
1 lb of chopped carrot
1 lb of chopped celery
1 lb of chopped onion
4 quarts of water
salt to taste

Cook for 2 120 minute cycles soup cycles (4 hours) in the Instant Pot.

Filter through a cheese cloth.

Freeze for a week or two.

Thaw in the refrigerator two or three days before using.

More later.

The brined Turkey

Buy a completely thawed turkey. If it's not completely thawed, then run it under cold water until it's thawed or put it in a jacuzzi tub full of cold water for a while.

The brining

Start about 30 hours before you want to serve your bird.

Remove the entrails from the turkey and place in the fridge.

Put the turkey in a 30-40 liter plastic bag (I use a code G Simple Human can liner).

Mix 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of kosher salt and 1 cup of brown sugar and some herbs (thyme, rosemary, dill, etc.) as some crushed garlic. Stir until all the salt and sugar is dissolved. Pour the water into the plastic bag.

Repeat the above until the water covers the turkey in the bag.

Place the bag someplace cool. I put it in a large ice chest and cover it with ice. Let soak for about 24 hours (you can do a little less than 24 hours, but no less than 12.)

The cooking

About 5-6 hours before you plan to serve your bird, start the cooking process.

Preheat your oven to 375°

Remove the turkey from the brine bag and dispose of the brine and the bag.

Rinse your turkey.

Rub your turkey with olive oil (or butter).

Put liberal amounts of salt and pepper on the turkey skin.

Place the turkey breast down on the baking rack in a roasting pan and cook at 375° for 60 minutes.

Remove the turkey from the oven. With a pair of poultry forks poultry forks
gently rotate the turkey so that it's breast side up. Slice a stick of butter into tabs and place on the top of the turkey.

Midway Turkey

Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and place the turkey back in the oven.

Every 45 minutes, baste the turkey and test the temperature. When the temperature of the breast meat is 165°, the turkey is done. This about about 2:45 for a 20lb turkey.

Remove the turkey, tent the turkey with tin foil, and let sit for 30 minutes before carving.

More gravy work

About the time you put the turkey in the oven, place the thawed chicken stock in a large pot on the stove, cover and simmer.

When the temperature of the turkey hits about 150°, remove the entrails from the fridge, chop them into small chunks and put them in the chicken stock to cook.

When you remove the turkey from the oven, add the juices from the turkey and the roasting pan to the pot of broth.

Bring the broth to a boil for 5 minutes.

Pour the broth through a strainer or cheese cloth to filter out the chunks of entrails.

Return the filtered broth to a pot and heat to a light boil.

Mix 4 cups of cold water with tablespoons of flour and whisk. Repeat until the water will not suspend the flour.

Slowly add the cold flour/water mix to the boiled broth, continuously whisking to ensure that there are no chunks of flour. Add enough flour/water to thicken the gravy to be a little less thick than you want it (it will continue to thicken).

Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a gravy boat.


Remove the tent from the turkey. Remove the legs and wings with poultry shears. Carve the breast meat and other meat with a sharp knife.

Serve and enjoy.


Be Thankful

The world is a beautiful place full of small and large things that are amazing and inspiring and calming and generally awesome. Please take a moment to look at something in your kitchen or something out the window and cherish its beauty. Please be thankful for the beauty that is all around and the people that you get to share the beauty with.