Roast Turkey, Gravy, and Stuffing

Jacques Pépin Cooking At Home

by Jacques Pépin
Roast Turkey, Gravy, and Stuffing

Roast Turkey, Gravy, and Stuffing are on the menu in Book recipe, and we are going to teach you how to make this delicious recipe from scratch!

Recipe video

For those preparing Thanksgiving dinner for themselves for the first time this year, here is step number one: don’t panic. Let the soothing voice of Jacques Pépin guide you through a stressful holiday season as he demonstrates how to make a deliciously moist roast turkey, stuffing, and gravy.

Hi I’m Jacque Pépin, and I’m cooking at home. I always cook Turkey for Thanksgiving. For me it is the best tradition. Actually Thanksgiving is the best holiday of all for me. It is not a holiday because of some date of a battle fighting somewhere or some type of religious holiday, no it is a holiday to get together, to eat, to drink, to be married, to be with your friends. So this is the greatest holiday. I have a 12, about 12 pound Turkey here.

Usually I do it not bigger than that, even smaller. And what I do first, I’m going to remove the wishbone here. Which is a little hard to see but on each side here you can feel it with your finger there is like a triangle here of this and I have to continue cutting it a little higher. Try to pry it with your finger, index finger and all that. That’s it. And you get that thing out, that big triangle here out. As you can see it broke.

But I have that triangle here. And that triangle here, which is here. When you are inside there it gives you a hot time to carb. So even the chicken and all that I remove the wishbone here. I have a quarter of water here. I’m gonna put that in there. And I’m going to start my sauce with it. Another thing that I do. I will cut the other drum stick here. (knife pounding)

Okay, that goes in there too. The other one I did. What happened is that when this is cooked, it’s going to shrink. And as you can see you can see those tendons sticking out. When those tendons comes out easily, your Turkey is cooked. In addition, you remove all those tendons which is makes it easier to eat. I have the neck here, again
in that quarter of water. And in there I have, of course the gizzard which will go also in there for my sauce and the liver, that liver is smaller, that liver usually I keep it here and there on when I’m preparing. I sauté that briefly and I enjoy that with a glass of wine. This is a special bonus for the chef. Another thing that I do, I feel that in the middle of the leg, it’s always the place where
it doesn’t cook enough. So I do a little incision here like this because it always stays a little red in the articulation here.

So I do a little incision that helps and actually the same thing here that I can do. Cutting the articulation of the wing a little bit. Just starting like this, that helps the heat goes into it and it doesn’t stay red there. Then salt all over the place inside, pepper inside too. All right I wanna cook, my turkey this way. Breast side up to start. So I will start with, a teaspoon of oil on top, just enough to start the browning a little bit. And that will go into the oven, for like 45 minutes at least at 400 degree. Now we continue with I have the neck here, the gizzard, the end of this thing. This is the start of the juice, the natural juice that we’re going to do with Turkey. So you have that in there. I have no salt but I’m going to put in there is probably a good teaspoon or maybe two teaspoon of soy to replace the salt

To get a nice color to my brown stock. Eventually, this is going to be deglazing the pan over there. But for the time being, I wanna bring that to a boil cook that for one hour, after an hour we can pick the meat of the neck and so forth and continue with the sauce. Next is the dressing, I have onion, corn, mushroom, and two cup of the chicken stock here. As you can see those mushrooms are a little dark, and it’s okay. It’ll have more taste even.

So I’m gonna put this one cup of corn, four tablespoons of butter, one cup of onion, and a good cup of mushroom too. I’m gonna put that in the microwave oven for like a minute couple of minutes to cook them a little bit. And then that will go on with this here. Often they buy a whole corn, I love cornbread and so forth, so this is a cornbread stuffing here. But my wife happened to like that one here. So these are the cornbread stuffing, all season all ready.

Plus you can see I have my mixture here. And that goes into one of those package, which had about three quarters of a pound. Okay, this of course, you can do that ahead. You can stuff the Turkey with that. I think it’s easier to do it separate. So let’s see what we have in there. Okay, my dressing is ready here cover it. And that’s good into the oven for 30, 35 minutes. I put all of the temperature at 400 degrees so that’s fine. So that Turkey has been 45 minutes here going through and what I’m going to do is to turn it upside down.

Now I wanna cook it, breast side down so it doesn’t dry out. Cook it like this and that will cook like that for one hour, same temperature. Of course the bonus for the
chef I did a piece of butter. I have to give some to my wife too to be nice, salt, pepper (bowls clacking) and that’s it. I really had a small liver here usually quite larger
than that but it’s fine. Sauté, the liver should already be slightly pink inside.

Otherwise if it’s cooked too much that it gets really pasty and rubbery like. Yeah so yes like any type of liver, so you sort that briefly. Okay minute about a minute, minute, minute and a half on one side the other side. Okay, here I have the special treat for the chef. Just pink inside of you can see that. Special bonus when you’re cooking. Bon Appétit. Now I sauce the juice rather

Get the water with the neck and all that. I’ve cooked for an hour and a quarter. I drain it as you can see, and I add my water to make sure you have two and a half cups. I need to add a half cup of sauce. And as you see, I have a nice color because of the soy sauce. So here I have the gizzard, you know when I’m going to cut into pieces, and I’m going to put all of that in there. And also in there, I’m putting three-quarters of a cup of chopped onion, three-quarters of a cup of diced carrot rather.

This will go in the bottom of my pan to finish the sauce thereon. But this and that is going to go back, cooked a little longer and I’m going to thicken it. So here we have the gizzard. Now the neck, I will pick up. I have nourished meat, all around from around the neck this is really good meat. In fact very often what I don’t do that when I put the neck right around the Turkey,

To roast in it. And it’s already between, a fight between my daughter and my wife who is going to get the neck. Okay, but this is good meat. So take your time to remove
as much as we can out of it. (bowls clacking) So my mixture has been cooking for a few minutes here. Remember I have the water that cook the neck, the gizzard all that I have carrot, onion, all the meat that I picked up too.

I wanna taste it for salt there. Well it needs salt. Now I can put a bit more soy or a bit of salt or both depending on the way you want it. Yeah like that it will be slightly darker that’s good. And I would thicken that with a little bit of potato starch, one teaspoon here, maybe two teaspoon. Any pure starch, whether you use a arrow root, arrow root is very expensive or corn starch. I like potato starch in experience it works better.

A pure cast starch and so forth, it has to be diluted with liquid. So here I put a dash of white wine, I take two tablespoons of that, it doesn’t really matter. And then you stir it. Be direct. And as you put it in there it will thicken on the contact. I put a little bit and I stir it. Put a little bit and I stir it. Put up the rest of it too.

Yeah I’ll put the rest of it too. And as you can see now it’s slightly oily. Like a beautiful juice. And this is what will go in the bottom of my pan when I finish cooking the Turkey. Okay now my Turkey has been cooking, breast side down for a good hour. So I’m gonna turn it back up again. Here now I know it’s really moist. So then I put it back in the oven for another 20,30 minutes to really brown that up beautifully.

So this is it, my Turkey is done now. And you can see for example here if I go, take a little bit of the (inaudible). That I think they’ll see you out here. Oh there. So those are long (inaudible) here that you can clean up like this. Now I will put my Turkey here, let it rest in a warm place you know. And then here as you can see we have all the beautiful crystallization of the juice

Because I have a good pan, thick, heavy, aluminum copper. If you do that in a standard steel pan like that it burns. So this crystallized juice we could glaze. And the process of deglazing is to add liquid to the glaze. Usually you would use that flat wood spatula. To melt all of that stuff. (metal chunking) So that’s healthier. I think that I really clean up my pan. I’ll pour it here

(metal chunking) and that’s it. As you can see here i have a clean pan. I have melt all those crystallized juice. That what makes the sauce. So here is my final sauce here. I wanna taste it. I think it was just about perfect. Maybe a dash of salt. Remember that I only put a bit of soy sauce. Also I’m ready with the stuffing here dressing. Now this is it.

Usually I would serve that in the kitchen but you can bring it directly in the dining room. The first thing you wanna do is to separate that big leg here. As you can see you break it at the joint it will break. And then at the joint after you can separate it the drum stick and that. And again as i explained before the drum stick you’re gonna cut it into pieces like this. If see separate now totally cooked. And some of those (inaudible) here should have come out. And now the thigh here,

The thigh I’m gonna cut it into pieces along the bone. Remember this is for 10, 12 people. This is the leg, on each side that I will do this way. For the breast you know
I will cut it here. Okay. My wife is going to have that part. And here we start cutting down first because I cut hear that will give me a cutting point here. (plates cluttering) And I keep cutting, that’s it.

I may bring that back against it. If I cut it on each side this way, I fill the sauce on top of it here. That’s how I would serve it. But often I will serve it individually like this, the dressing here, I would put a good portion here. A little piece of the dark meat, dark meat is always my favorite here. And of course a nice piece of the breast. It is hot here. Nice piece of the breast.

So here and of course without forgetting the sauce which is going to go all around. anyway my Thanksgiving Turkey. Well or any holiday, I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you and happy cooking.


More recipes of JACQUES PÉPIN:

Chicken Persillade

Mashed Potatoes Made by Chef Jacques Pépin

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