Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

1 stick butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper
4 to 5 cups rich stock, warmed
Turkey drippings and giblets, optional

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on the onions, stirring constantly, and cook until flour is golden to brown. Adjust heat so mixture does not burn.

Gradually whisk in 4 cups stock until mixture thickens and is smooth. If it is too thick, add liquid. Cool, cover and chill.

When ready to serve, reheat mixture over low heat, stirring. Scrape bottom of turkey pan and add drippings or giblets to gravy. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve.

Classic Last Minute Turkey Gravy

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pan drippings to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine (or use water)
4 cups homemade turkey stock or low-salt canned chicken broth
Salt and black pepper

Make a roux: melt butter in a large skillet. Add the flour all at once, whisking until incorporated. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the roux begins to look grainy, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool completely.

When the roast turkey is done cooking, pour the pan drippings into a bowl.

Deglaze the roasting pan by adding the wine, bringing it to a boil and scraping the pan with a wooden spoon, adding a little water as needed to incorporate the browned bits. Add to the drippings in the bowl. Skim off the fat with a spoon, or put in the refrigerator or freezer until the fat has congealed on top, then remove fat.

Make the gravy: Bring the broth to a simmer in a covered saucepan, then slowly add 3 cups of the broth to the roux, whisking constantly. Slowly add the reserved drippings, starting with a few tablespoons; taste, then whisk in more a little at a time until the gravy tastes right. Season with salt, if needed, and pepper. To adjust the consistency, add more broth for a thinner gravy or simmer for a few minutes for a thicker one. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Simple Roast Turkey

1 turkey
(10 to 12 pounds)

Coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 lemon, zested and quartered
1 bunch fresh thyme or rosemary
1 bunch fresh sage
12 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 bottle hard apple cider (12 ounces)
Dry white wine, as needed
2 onions, peeled and quartered
3 bay leaves
Olive oil or melted butter, as needed

Remove any giblets from the cavity and reserve for stock or gravy. Pat turkey and turkey neck dry with paper towel; rub turkey all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt per pound of turkey, the pepper and the lemon zest, including the neck. Transfer to a 2-gallon (or larger) resealable plastic bag. Tuck herbs and 6 garlic cloves inside bag. Seal and refrigerate on a small rimmed baking sheet (or wrapped in another bag) for at least 1 day and up to 3 days, turning the bird over every day (or after 12 hours if brining for only 1 day).

Remove turkey from bag and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey, uncovered, back on the baking sheet. Return to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours to dry out the skin (this helps crisp it).

When you are ready to cook the turkey, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature for one hour.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In the bottom of a large roasting pan, add the cider and enough wine to fill the pan to a 1/4-inch depth. Add half the onions, the remaining 6 garlic cloves and the bay leaves. Stuff remaining onions and the lemon quarters into the turkey cavity. Brush turkey skin generously with oil or melted butter.

Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack set inside the roasting pan. Transfer pan to oven and roast 30 minutes. Cover breast with aluminum foil. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh reaches 165 degrees, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours more. Transfer turkey to a cutting board to rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Roasted Turkey Stock

1 carcass from a 10- to 15-pound turkey, preferably including neck, wing and leg bones
4 or 5 onions, quartered (no need to peel; just rub off any papery skins)
2 large or 3 small carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
4 large or 5 small celery ribs, cut into chunks
2 cups white wine
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 whole arbol (or another small dried red) chile
Kosher salt

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Using a sturdy knife or your hands, cut or tear turkey carcass into large pieces. Arrange in a single layer in a roasting pan and roast until brown and sizzling, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer pieces to a stockpot.

Add onions, carrots and celery to the empty roasting pan and place over medium heat. Sauté briefly, just to loosen the crusty turkey bits from bottom of pan.

Return pan to oven and cook until vegetables are browned around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and place it over medium heat. Add white wine and cook, stirring, until wine is reduced to a syrup, about 3 minutes.

Add wine-vegetable mixture to stockpot. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaves, black peppercorns and chile. Add 6 quarts water and place over medium-high heat just until mixture comes to a boil.

Immediately reduce heat to low, skim any foam floating on top and simmer, skimming as needed, for 3 hours. Add 1 teaspoon salt and taste. If stock tastes watery, keep simmering until stock is flavorful. Taste for salt again and add more if needed.

Strain stock through a sieve into a large container or containers. Discard solids. Let stock cool slightly, then refrigerate. Skim off any fat from the top of the stock. Use within 4 days or freeze.

YIELD About 3 quarts

NOTETo freeze in plastic bags, use a thick, sealable bag to line a plastic container; the container will hold the bag up while you fill it (1-cup and 1-quart units are the most useful). Label the bags before filling. Hold bag up by the edges, pour in stock, gently squeeze out any air and seal tightly. Remove from container and lay bags flat in freezer.