Farm Journal Recipe: Turkey and Gravy


Roast Turkey

  • Prepare stuffing (allow 3/4 c. for each pound of ready-to-cook turkey). Stuff bird just before roasting.
  • Lightly stuff neck cavity; skewer skin to back. Shape wings "akimbo" style; bring wing tips onto the back.
  • Place turkey, breast down, in deep bowl. Rub cavity with salt. Spoon in stuffing. Shake to settle stuffing, but do not pack.
  • Lace cord around skewers to close opening. Tie drumsticks securely to tail.
  • Rub skin thoroughly with shortening.
  • Place bird on rack in shallow pan. If V-rack is used, place turkey breast down. If bird is too heavy to handle and turn, roast with breast up.
  • Lay fat-moistened cheesecloth (three thickness), large enough to drape down sides, over top of bird.
  • Roast in slow oven (325 degrees).
Roasting Chart for Whole Turkeys
Ready-to-Cook Weight Temp. Roasting Time
4 to 8 lbs. 325 3 to 4 hrs.
8 to 12 lbs. 325 4 to 4-1/2 hrs.
12 to 16 lbs. 325 4-1/2 to 5 hrs.
Allow approximately 1/2 pound ready-to-cook turkey
per serving.


  • If turkey begins roasting with breast down, turn breast up for the last hour. When bird is about two-thirds done, according to chart, cut cord holding drumstick ends to tail.
  • About 15 to 30 minutes before roasting time ends, test turkey for doneness. Move drumsticks up and down--the leg should give readily. Do not pierce skin with fork! (Editor's Note: This recipe was originally printed in 1959. Today's safety guidelines recommend cooking turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.)
  • Start roasting bird to allow 30 to 40 minutes leeway before dinner, if turkey takes longer than estimated. Allows time to make gravy, and permits turkey to absorb juices.
  • Cook giblets in seasoned water. Use broth in stuffing and gravy.


Turkey Gravy

  • Remove turkey from roasting pan. Pour drippings--fat and meat juices--into pint measuring cup. Skim off fat.
  • Return 3 tblsp. fat and 3 tblsp. flour to roasting pan; blend thoroughly.
  • Cook slowly, stirring over low heat to brown fat and flour slightly.
  • Add water, milk or giblet broth to meat juices to make 2 c. liquid. Add fat and flour.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Simmer about 5 minutes. Season. Makes 2 cups.
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