I devised this recipe 6 years ago after looking at hours of recipes and videos about how to make the best, juiciest Thanksgiving Turkey. Back then it wasn’t low FODMAP or low Histamine, but I only had to make a few minor tweaks to get it there. I had a serious disdain for turkey back then, but my husband worked as the transportation director for a meat distributor and every year, he brought home a turkey for Thanksgiving. When we saw better days, we donated them, but once I became disabled and times were tough, I became determined to make friends with good old Tom being on my table every year.
My goal was to make the moistest, most flavorful turkey ever. I think I succeeded, because this turkey is absolutely nothing like the dried out birds of my youth that made me hate them. In fact, it’s now one of my favorite things to eat and I find myself craving a bird early in the year and I sometimes wish we celebrated Easter. No one has to give us one now, we actually buy our own!
Please note: If you’ve never made a turkey before, it’s a task. Be sure you read this recipe a few days in advance so you’re prepared. Also, be sure to note the asterisks for MCAD affected individuals.
Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter and Gravy
Make the Herb Butter 1 day in advance:
- 1 stick salted grass fed butter^
- 1 tsp Bell’s Seasoning
- 1/8 tsp cilantro
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Prepare 1 day in advance. Leave butter sit at room temperature for one hour. Mix in herbs using a fork, ensuring all are well blended throughout the butter. Cover and store at room temperature (or in the fridge if you don’t trust it, but you must thaw it 2 hours before making your turkey) until you’re ready to prepare your turkey.
Prepare the Turkey:
- Herb Butter
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 stalk celery, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
- 1 Turkey of choice, preferably pasture raised-organically grown (heritage).^
If frozen, give the turkey 3-4 full days in the fridge to defrost.
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and spray the roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray. Remove the innards and discard or set aside. Rinse the cavity and pat dry before placing in pan.
Place the turkey in the pan, tilting it so the cavity is facing you. Place 1-2 tablespoons of butter inside the bird, along with the vegetables. These vegetables provide seasoning as well as moisture during the cooking process and can be removed and discarded or even eaten, but they make a nice garnish on the plate when serving the turkey if you leave them in, just slightly spilling out.
Place the turkey in the roasting pan breast side up. Carefully lift the skin to find an opening under the skin. Carefully, without tearing too much of the skin away from the bird, covering your fingers in herb butter, slide your hand up under the skin and massage the herb butter onto the surface below the skin. Add more butter on top. Repeat the process until you have as much of the turkey covered as possible.
Cover tightly with foil or a lid and bake on lowest level rack until an instant read thermometer registers at 165 degrees, basting once or twice. Typically, it will take 15 minutes per pound to cook. Remove the foil and bake approximately 15-20 minutes more, or until the turkey is golden brown. Remove from the oven and carefully extract 1 cup of liquid from the pan for the gravy. Tent the turkey with foil, allowing to rest for approximately 20-30 minutes while cooking your gravy and remaining side dishes.
To Make the Gravy:
- 2 cups turkey juices
- 1/4 cup butter/fat from turkey
- 1-2 cups low FODMAP chicken stock
- 1/4 cup cornstarch*
- 1/2 teaspoon Bell’s seasoning
- Salt to Taste
Retain 2 cups of the turkey juices and 1/4 cup butter/fat from the roasting pan to make the gravy. They will easily separate, and this can be achieved using either a separator or just a regular measuring cup, draining off the excess butter and fat that floats to the top. Pour butter into pan on medium heat and add cornstarch to thicken. This should create a thick paste. Wisk in turkey juices and as much of the stock as necessary, stirring vigorously and keeping the mixture smooth until it reaches the desired consistency. Blend in spices and salt to taste.
Take care of your body this holiday season! Feed it healthy fuel!
*If corn allergy/intolerance is present, an all purpose gluten-free, whole wheat flour, or other reliable thickener that can take high heat can be substituted.