Texas Recipes

Roast Turkey

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Yield: 16 servings



  • 1 (16 to 18 pound) turkey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 apples
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 fresh jalapeño peppers

Giblet Gravy

  • 2 ounces chicken or turkey necks
  • 1 ounce chicken or turkey gizzards and hearts
  • 1/4 ounce chicken or turkey livers
  • 9 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper



  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Rinse and dry turkey. Remove neck and giblet bag from the small cavity in front and the large body cavity.
  3. Season inside turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Use salt sparingly if using a pre-basted turkey.
  4. Rub exterior of turkey generously with vegetable oil and place in a large roasting pan with shallow sides.
  5. Cut apples and orange into quarters.
  6. Cut lemons in half.
  7. Pierce jalapeño peppers with a fork.
  8. Insert apple, orange, lemon and jalapeño peppers into cavity.
  9. Roast turkey for 15 to 20 minutes per pound. Temperature should read 180 degrees F when an instant-read meat thermometer is inserted in the thickest part of the thigh. The leg should also move easily at the joint. The turkey should be ready for 1 hour before dinner is served.
  10. Loosely tent with foil to keep warm, and carve just before serving.

Giblet Gravy

  1. Make this gravy ahead of time and warm it just before serving.
  2. Rinse necks, gizzards and hearts. Place in a large saucepan or stockpot. Cover with 8 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer. Using a large spoon, skim off foam as it accumulates during cooking. Cook until necks are soft and gizzards and hearts are tender, 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. When cool enough to handle, strain stock into clean saucepan with lid or into a plastic storage container.
  5. Refrigerate to congeal fat, several hours or up to 2 days. Freeze for longer storage.
  6. Reserve gizzards and hearts; discard necks. Chop gizzards and hearts into 1/2 inch pieces. Refrigerate up to 2 days.
  7. To make gravy, lift off congealed fat from stock and discard.
  8. Heat stock to liquefy; reserve.
  9. In stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add oil, then gradually stir in flour. Cook until flour is bubbly; reduce heat and cook until flour turns a rich brown, the color of cocoa.
  10. Gradually add warm stock, stirring with a wire whisk to eliminate lumps. Cook until thickened to desired consistency, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  12. Meanwhile, rinse livers, if using, and place in a small saucepan with 1 cup water over medium heat. Lower heat and simmer until livers are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
  13. Remove from heat and let stand until cool.
  14. Drain livers and discard liquid. Chop livers into 1/4 inch pieces.
  15. Stir chopped gizzards, hearts and livers into gravy.
  16. Adjust seasoning as needed.


Gravy may be refrigerated for up to 2 days before serving. Reheat to serve. Thin with de-fatted pan juices from turkey or with water or stock to desired consistency.

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