Sheila Lukins
Cookbook Author, U.S.A. Cookbook

My Thanksgiving Turkey
Adapted from Sheila Lukins, U.S.A. Cookbook (Workman
Publishing, New York 1997)

Giblet Broth

Giblets and neck from turkey (see below)
1 cup extra giblets (about 3/4 pound)
4 chicken backs (about 1 3/4 pounds)
2 1/2 stalks celery, with leaves
2 1/2 large yellow onions, unpeeled
4 cloves garlic, bruised
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 whole cloves
4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

"best of" turkey tips home
sheila lukins' tips | cherry cornbread stuffing

more turkey tips
2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001
2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996


1 fresh turkey (18 pounds), with giblets and neck
1 orange, halved
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
10 to 12 cups Cherry Cornbread Stuffing (see recipe)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Giblet Gravy

Pan juices (from turkey)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons Madeira wine
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 Tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Giblet mixture (see steps 1 and 2)
Giblet Broth, if needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


2 to 3 large bunches fresh sage

To prepare the giblet broth, wash the giblets well. Place all the broth ingredients together in a heavy
saucepan and add water to just cover, about 6 cups. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer,
skimming any foam that rises to the surface, until the giblets are tender, about 1 hour. Strain the
broth over a bowl, reserving the giblets, turkey neck, and chicken backs and discarding the vegetables.
You should have about 3 1/2 cups of broth.

When it is cool enough to handle, shred the meat from the turkey neck and chicken backs, discarding
any skin. Finely chop the giblets. Mix the meats and giblets together, cover and refrigerate until needed.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. To prepare the turkey, rinse the turkey well inside and out, and pat it dry.
Remove any excess fat.

Squeeze the orange halves inside the body and neck cavities. Sprinkle the cavities with paprika, salt
and pepper. Stuff the cavities with the Cherry Cornbread Stuffing, using about 3 cups for the neck and
8 cups for the body. Close with turkey lacers, or sew closed with a large needle and heavy thread.
Tie the legs together with kitchen string.

Rub the turkey all over with the butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the turkey, breast side
up, on a rack in a large flameproof roasting pan. Pour 2 cups of the reserved giblet broth into the
bottom of the pan, and cover the turkey loosely with aluminum foil. Cover the remaining broth and
refrigerate it. Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the foil and roast the turkey, basting with the pan juices every 30 minutes, for 2 1/2 hours.

Raise the oven temperature to 350°F, and roast for another 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until an instant-reading
thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 180°F. (The temperature at the thickest
part of the breast should be 160°F, and in the deepest part of the stuffing 165°F.) The juices should
run clear, when the thigh is pricked with a small sharp knife.

Remove the turkey, place it on a platter, and let it rest about 20 minutes, loosely covered with aluminum foil.
Remove the stuffing from the body and neck cavities to a bowl and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

To prepare the giblet gravy, heat the pan juices in the roasting pan, scraping up all of the brown bits on the
bottom of the pan. Pour the juices through a gravy separator to remove the fat, or skim the fat off with a
metal spoon. Pour the defatted juices into a measuring cup.

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking until it
browns slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in 2 cups of the reserved pan juices,
and continue whisking until smooth. Bring the gravy to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and
add the Madeira, thyme, salt, pepper, parsley and reserved giblet mixture. Simmer, stirring, until the
gravy has thickened, about 10 minutes. If you prefer a thinner gravy, add more of the remaining 1 1/2
cups giblet broth until the desired consistency is achieved. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

Present the turkey before carving it. Arrange the carved meat on a large decorative platter. Garnish with
the fresh sage and serve accompanied by the gravy.

Click here for Cheese Expert Steven Jenkins' Cheese Recommendations

"best of" turkey tips home | sheila lukins' tips | cherry cornbread stuffing