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Make-Ahead Turkey and Gravy

Turkey sliced in white trayTake the stress out of your Thanksgiving Day by roasting your turkey ahead of time that’s ready to serve when you are. This recipe courtesy of Taste of Home.


1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced

For serving:
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 325°. Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning and pepper. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together.

  • Roast, uncovered, 30 minutes. In a 4-cup measuring cup, mix broth, herbs, lemon peel and juice, and garlic; pour over turkey. Roast, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°, 3 to 3-1/2 hours, basting occasionally with broth mixture. Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.
  • Remove turkey from pan; let stand at least 20 minutes before carving. Skim fat from cooking juices.
  • To freeze: Carve turkey and place in shallow freezer containers. Pour cooking juices over turkey; cool slightly, about 1 hour. Cover and freeze up to 3 months.
  • To serve: Partially thaw turkey in refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 350°. Transfer turkey and cooking juices to a large baking dish. Pour 1-1/2 cups broth over top. Bake, covered, until a thermometer inserted in turkey reads 165°, 50-60 minutes.
  • To prepare gravy: Remove turkey to a platter, reserving broth mixture; keep warm. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in broth mixture; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve with turkey.

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home:

(Preparation and roasting times are approximate.)

Prep Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 4 Hours
Total Time: 5 Hours and 30 Minutes
Servings: 16

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