Friday, November 26, 2010

Spice Rubbed Turkey with Cognac Gravy

IMG_4596aI made this turkey for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit, everyone adored the flavor and it was super moist and juicy.  This recipe will be repeated again and again.  For those thinking that something might not look right with the picture, I roast my bird dark meat up as I find that roasting it that way produces a much moister and juicier bird. 

Spice Rubbed Turkey with Cognac Gravy (Adapted from Bon Appétit November 2006)

*****Be sure to rub the turkey with the spice mixture at least one day if not two before roasting*****

1 (18- to 20-pound) turkey; neck, heart, and gizzard reserved for giblet broth

5 TBS ground coriander
1 TBS ground cumin
1 TBS ground black pepper
1 tsp ground roasted cinnamon
2 TBS coarse kosher salt
3 TBS smoked sweet paprika
5 1/2 cups chicken broth

Giblet broth:
5 cups chicken broth
2 lbs turkey necks

Giblet gravy:
1 cup dry white vermouth
1/2 cup Cognac
Wondra flour
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix coriander, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, salt and paprika together. Rinse and dry the turkey well.  Then set the turkey on a rack set in large roasting pan; tuck wings under. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon spice mixture in main cavity of the turkey and spread the remaining spice mixture all over turkey skin; tie legs together to hold shape. Turn turkey breast side down.  Refrigerate uncovered for 24 to 48 hours.

Before roasting let turkey stand 1 hour at room temperature.

Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 450°F. Pour 3 cups of chicken broth into pan with turkey. Cook for 20 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.  Roast turkey 1 hour and then pour 2 cups broth over turkey. Continue roasting until thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 161°F, about 1 hour longer.

Meanwhile, prepare giblet broth.  Place the turkey necks as well as the reserved turkey neck, heart, and gizzard in medium saucepan; add 5 cups chicken broth.  Simmer 1 hour. Strain and then skim any fat from surface of giblet broth. 

Once the turkey reaches temperature, transfer turkey to platter, tent loosely with foil and let stand 30 minutes (internal temperature of turkey will rise 5 to 10 degrees).

For giblet gravy:  Skim off the fat from the surface of the pan juices. Place roasting pan over 2 burners set at medium-high heat. Add vermouth and Cognac to pan and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.  Sprinkle in about 1/4 cup of Wondra and whisk.  As the pan juices start to thicken whisk in the giblet broth and bring to a boil.  Add more Wondra if necessary until gravy coats the back of a spoon or to the gravy consistency you desire.  Salt & pepper to taste.  

Carve turkey and serve with gravy.



  1. That turkey looks amazing! I might want to make that for Christmas. Does the 18-20 pound bird really only need to spend 2 hours, 2 minutes in the oven to cook all the way through or was that a typo? Your entire Thanksgiving meal sounds fabulous! Enjoy your trip to Aruba.

  2. Hi Shari,
    I cook in a convection oven but yes the total cooking time was 2 hours 20 minutes. The first 20 minutes were at 450F and the remaining time at 350F. Be sure to use a temperature probe in the thickest part of the white meat and roast until it reads 161F then remove from the oven, tent loosely with foil and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes and the internal temp will continue to rise. Good luck if you make it for Christmas and let me know how it turns out.

  3. Just heading into winter in Australia now so time to turn the oven on (very tough cooking turkey for a summer Christmas!)

    Do you think this would work with roast chicken or is the flavour too overwhelming for a smaller bird?

  4. I like your addition of spices to the rub! I liek to add soem spice when I roast chicken too (: makes for a less boring roast dinner (:

  5. this turkey dinner looks very good!
    might try it this week!

  6. You had me at cognac gravy! This turkey, gravy, everything is exquisite! Thanks for linking up at my Thanksgiving blog hop!

  7. Lisa, thanks for linking this great recipe up to Mangia Mondays - I featured you today!


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