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A traditional holiday dinner, roast turkey is also nice for any family get-together or Sunday party. This is a simple, bountiful meal that everyone loves - and there will be leftovers, too. For a quick and easy dinner, use a turkey breast or half a turkey. For a large family meal, get the big bird so there will be plenty of leftovers, even after everyone has stuffed themselves.


  • 1 whole fresh turkey (16-24 lbs.)
  • 2-4 TB. vegetable oil

Old Fashioned Simple Gravy

4 TB. drippings from roasting pan
3 Cups water (preferably from the potatoes)
1 TB. ARROWROOT STARCH, dissolved in 1/4 Cup cool water
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt

Preparation (can be done the night before or the morning of the dinner)

Turkey: Remove neck and giblets from the cavity of the turkey and discard or freeze for another recipe. Wash turkey, pat dry. Rub with vegetable oil, season heavily with BICENTENNIAL RUB. Place turkey in a large roasting pan with a rack, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.


Turkey: A turkey takes roughly 15 minutes per pound to roast. 20 minutes per pound works for a breast or half turkey; a 12 lb. bird will take about 3 hours. These are approximate guidelines, and many people will cook a bird longer. We tend to find turkey always cooks faster than we think, so we rely on a watchful eye and a meat thermometer - which should read 160° inserted in the thick thigh meat. The nice thing about this meal is that the potatoes will hold nicely if the turkey needs an extra bit of time, and the turkey will stay warm if it is done first. If the turkey is done before everything else, just remove it from the oven, cover it with a dish towel, and let it rest. It should rest before carving for 10 minutes anyway, and it will still be warm for up to 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°. Uncover the turkey and place in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325°. Baste the turkey every 15 minutes or so.

Gravy: A true holiday turkey produces a whole lot of flavorful drippings and fat; it is not unusual to get 2-3 cups of liquid from the pan. If this is the lucky situation you face, pour all the drippings into a large measuring cup, let the fat come to the top, carefully pour off as much of the fat as you can, and proceed to use the rest of the juices in place of some of the 2-3 cups of the potato cooking water. Place the roasting pan on the stove top burners over medium heat. Add 1 cup of the potato cooking water to the pan, stir, and scrape vigorously to get all the drippings and browned bits dissolved. Then, pour the stock through a small strainer into a saucepan. Bring the stock to a rapid boil and reduce the liquid by a third, which takes about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, so the liquid is just simmering. Drizzle in the ARROWROOT-water slurry, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (make sure the gravy is not boiling). The gravy will thicken rapidly; you may not need all of the thickener to reach the consistency you like. Add salt, continue to simmer the gravy a minute or two longer over medium-low heat. It will become clear and glossy, at which point it is ready to serve. When the gravy is finished, pour it carefully into a sauce boat and let it cool a bit while the turkey is being carved and the serving dishes are placed on the table. Since the gravy-making is the only last-minute step, if someone else agrees to carve the turkey, both the cook and the guests can arrive at the table relaxed and ready to enjoy the meal. Prep. time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: several hours total
Serves: 8-12

Bicentennial Rub 2.7 oz. 1/2 cup jar
Arrowroot Starch 2.5 oz. 1/2 cup jar

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