- Ensure the deep chill on the turkey is completely thawed and the turkey is brought up to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 450° F.
- Remove the turkey from the packaging, remove the neck and giblets from the cavity (set aside and refrigerate to use in a stock for soup), remove the plastic tie holding the drumsticks together, and rinse the turkey, patting it dry with paper towel. Rub the turkey thoroughly with approximately 2 tablespoons of butter making sure to cover every part of the bird, and season all sides with the salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey cavity with the quartered onion, a few stalks of each type of the poultry herbs, and the lemon halves.
- In a roasting pan large enough for the turkey and vegetables, evenly distribute the remaining onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and poultry herbs. Sprinkle the lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper over the vegetables. Nestle the turkey, breast-side up, among the vegetables and herbs.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the tomato paste, broth, and wine and bring to a low simmer (hot enough that the liquid is in motion, but few or no bubbles rise to the surface). Simmer for 3-5 minutes, and then pour over the vegetables until the liquid is just above the turkey wings. Transfer any leftover liquid to a jar and reserve for later.
- Place the roasting pan in the oven and set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350° F.
- Cook until an instant-read thermometer, inserted into the fattest part of the breast, just above the wing joint (do not touch the bone), reads 150° to 160° F.
- Rinse and dry the saucepan used for the braising liquid, add the remaining butter (6 tablespoons) and place on the stovetop over the lowest heat, allowing the butter to melt. While the turkey is roasting, use the melted butter to baste the turkey every 30 minutes. To baste the turkey, fill the turkey baster syringe with melted butter, open the oven door, pull the rack out (just slightly) and drizzle it over the turkey breast (this should take approximately 30 seconds).
- Once the breast meat has reached temperature, remove the turkey from the oven and transfer to a large cutting board. Let rest until you can handle the turkey without burning your hands, 20-30 minutes.
- Place the roasting pan with the braising liquid on the stovetop over low heat and continue to simmer the liquid.
- After the turkey rests, remove the legs from the turkey by cutting at the thigh joint; remove the wings by cutting between the joint. Place both in the braising liquid that is simmering on the stovetop. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the thighs and drumsticks are tender and have reached an internal temperature of 170-175° F. Allow the rest of the turkey to rest on the cutting board until the dark meat is done.
- While the turkey legs and wings braise on the stovetop, transfer about a quarter of the vegetables and hot liquid from the roasting pan to a sauce pan (remove the bay leaves), use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. If you do not have an emersion blender, blend in 2-3 batches in a regular blender. Use caution when blending hot substances—fill the blender less than halfway full, remove the center cap of the blender top and cover the open lid with a kitchen towel before turning it on. Pour the blended sauce back into the roasting pan. The blended vegetables will assist with creating a gravy consistency. Note: If it appears as though you need more liquid, add the leftover braising liquid from step 5 to the roasting pan until desired gravy consistency is achieved.
- When the dark meat is done, preheat the broiler and arrange an oven rack so that you can put the roasting pan close to the broiler element.
- Remove each side of the breast (intact and whole) by slicing along the breastbone (the meat should be a little pink in the center). Add the whole breast skin-side up to the roasting pan with the other pieces (also skin-side up). Finish the turkey under the broiler until the skin is crisp and the breast is warmed and thoroughly cooked, 3-5 minutes. When done, remove from the oven.
- Transfer the turkey pieces to a cutting board, slice the breast crosswise so that every piece has some skin. Separate the thigh and drumstick and carve the dark meat off the bone.
- Strain the braising liquid into a saucepan (or use a gravy strainer to separate the pan juices from the fat and then transfer to a saucepan) and discard the remaining vegetables. Bring the braising liquid to a boil and reduce by about a quarter.
- If serving the turkey from the roasting pan, rinse it out, dry and rewarm it (or warm a serving vessel large enough for the braising liquid too).
- Arrange the turkey in the serving vessel, skin-side up, and ladle the hot braising liquid over the turkey. Cover with foil and keep warm in the turned-off oven or on the stovetop while you ready the rest of the meal. Use caution to not overcook the breast—the hot liquid will keep it warm if the oven is still in use for other dishes (do not put the turkey back into a 350° F oven).
Note: Use the turkey carcass and left-over braising liquid to make a delicious and nutrient-dense soup or stock!
- Large roasting pan
- Turkey baster
- Large cutting board
- Chef’s knife or large kitchen shears (for cutting the turkey)
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