Recipes > Meat > Turkey > Roast Turkey

Roast Turkey


Dress, clean, stuff, and truss a ten-pound turkey, see pages 215-217. Place on its side on rack in a dripping-pan, rub entire surface with salt, and spread breast, legs, and wings with one-third cup butter, rubbed until creamy and mixed with one-fourth cup flour. Dredge bottom of pan with flour. Place in a hot oven, and when flour on turkey begins to brown, reduce heat, baste with fat in pan, and add two cups boiling water. Continue basting every fifteen minutes until turkey is cooked, which will require about three hours. For basting, use one-half cup butter melted in one-half cup boiling water, and after this is used baste with fat in pan. During cooking turn turkey frequently, that it may brown evenly. If turkey is browning too fast, cover with buttered paper to prevent burning. Remove string and skewers before serving. Garnish with parsley or celery tips.

For stuffing, use double the quantities given in recipes under Roast Chicken. If stuffing is to be served cold, add one beaten egg. Turkey is often roasted with Chestnut Stuffing.

Chestnut Stuffing

  • 3 cups French chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs


Shell and blanch chestnuts. Cook in boiling salted water until soft. Drain and mash, using a potato ricer. Add one-half the butter, salt, pepper, and cream. Melt remaining butter, mix with cracker crumbs, then combine mixtures.


Pour off liquid in pan in which turkey has been roasted. From liquid skim off six tablespoons fat; return fat to pan and brown with six tablespoons flour; pour on gradually three cups stock in which giblets, neck, and tips of wings have been cooked, or use liquor left in pan. Cook five minutes, season with salt and pepper; strain. For Giblet Gravy add to the above, giblets (heart, liver, and gizzard) finely chopped.

Chestnut Gravy

To two cups thin Turkey Gravy add three-fourths cup cooked and mashed chestnuts.

To Carve Turkey

Bird should be placed on back, with legs at right of platter for carving. Introduce carving fork across breast-bone, hold firmly in left hand, and with carving knife in right hand cut through skin between leg and body, close to body. With knife pull back leg and disjoint from body. Then cut off wing. Remove leg and wing from other side. Separate second joints from drum-sticks and divide wings at joints. Carve breast meat in thin crosswise slices. Under back on either side of backbone may be found two small, oyster-shaped pieces of dark meat, which are dainty tidbits. Chicken and fowl are carved in the same way. For a small family carve but one side of a turkey, that remainder may be left in better condition for second serving.


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The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1896).

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