Everyone knows Chardonnay and turkey are a match made in food- and wine-pairing heaven, and here, cookbook author and president of Hanna Winery, Christine Hanna takes the flavor-packed duo even further. This holiday-ready recipe for roasted turkey with white wine gravy comes from Hanna’s book, The Winemaker Cooks.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 bottle (750 ml.) Chardonnay
1 12-15 lb. turkey
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. finely chopped thyme, plus sprigs for inside the cavity
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage, plus sprigs for inside the cavity
2 small onions, halved
1 lemon, halved
Chardonnay Gravy (recipe follows)
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high, or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal barbecue. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the Chardonnay until simmering. Remove from heat and soak a large piece of cheesecloth in the butter mixture.
Remove the turkey giblets from the turkey and reserve to make stock for the gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out; dry well. In a small bowl, make a paste with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and finely chopped herbs. Rub the outside of the turkey with the herb paste and place it on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Stuff the body cavity with the onion and lemon halves and the herb sprigs.
Drape the soaked cheesecloth over the breast of the turkey, covering the top portion of the leg, as well. Reserve the remaining Chardonnay butter for basting.
Place the roasting pan on the grill or barbecue and close the cover. Roast for 30 minutes, then uncover the grill and baste the cheesecloth with the Chardonnay/butter mixture, using a pastry brush. If the bottom of the roasting pan is dry, add ½ cup of water to keep the drippings from burning. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and roast, basting the cheesecloth every 30 minutes, for another hour and a half. Add a little more water if the bottom of the pan is dry.
Discard the cheesecloth and baste the turkey with the pan juices. Cover again and roast for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, for a total of 2 ¾ to 3 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh, but not touching the bone registers 165 degrees F (the turkey will continue to cook as it rests). Transfer the turkey to a carving board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for at least 20 minutes. Pour the drippings through a fine-mesh sieve into a 4-cup glass measure, then skim off the fat and reserve. Reserve the roasting pan/tray for making the gravy. Carve the turkey and serve with Chardonnay Gravy.
Reserved giblets, roasting pan, drippings and fat from Grill-Roasted Herbed Turkey
6 cups water
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped, plus 1 ½ cups finely chopped onions
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 cup Chardonnay
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup Wondra flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine the giblets, water celery, the coarsely chopped onion and the carrot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours or so, skimming the surface occasionally. Remove from heat and strain. You should have 2 cups of turkey stock. Use now, or cover and refrigerate.
In a medium saucepan, bring the turkey stock to a low simmer. Place the roasting pan/tray over two burners on the stovetop. Over medium-high heat, add the Chardonnay and turkey stock to the pan and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook to reduce the liquid by half. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass measure or pitcher. In the roasting pan, melt the butter with the reserved turkey fat over medium heat and cook the finely chopped onions or 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and whisk in salt and pepper. Cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot stock and cook, whisking occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
Makes 3 cups.
From The Winemaker Cooks (Chronicle, 2010) by Christine Hanna