Turkey with Port Wine Gravy

Turkey 2GravyThis classic Thanksgiving turkey recipe amps up the gourmet factor through fresh herbs, cream and port wine. While you can make the gravy when the bird is resting, I prefer to make it a day ahead. By starting with your own homemade turkey stock, you can still get rich turkey flavor without the last minute frenzy just prior to serving the meal!

Turkey with Port Wine Gravy

Serving Size: 10-12 servings


    Turkey Broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds turkey thighs
  • neck and giblets from turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
  • 3 fresh sprigs parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup port
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 14-16 pound turkey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 large onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature


  • Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat add turkey thighs, neck and onion and cook until brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Add giblets and remaining ingredients. Bring to boil, skimming surface occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover partially and reduce to 5 cups, about 1 hour. Strain.
  • Can be made 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate.
    Gravy - make ahead option
  • Melt butter in large sauce pan, then add flour to make roux. Stir over medium low heat 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in turkey broth. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Cook until thickened, about 2-5 minutes. Add cream and herbs, simmering until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in Port and season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate covered, if making in advance, then rewarm gently prior to serving.
  • 1 hour prior to cooking, place turkey on counter to bring closer to room temperature. Then pat as dry as possible, with paper towels.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine herbs, salt & pepper in a small bowl.
  • Rub some of the herb mixture inside of turkey and place onion in cavity.
  • Place turkey in roasting pan, tucking wings under body. Tie legs with kitchen strong to hold shape.
  • Separate skin carefully from breast area and rub some of the butter directly on the meat. Rub remaining butter over surface of turkey skin. Pat remaining herb mixture on skin.
  • Roast turkey for 3 to 3 1/5 hours (or suggested amount of time based on the size of your bird.)
  • Cover bird with foil 2/3rds into roasting time if bird is fairly browned. This will ensure your turkey doesn't get too dry.
  • Let turkey rest for 15 minutes, covered with foil, prior to carving.


Adapted from Bon Appetit November 2003 recipe



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