Sweet and Smoky Roast Turkey, Veggies and Gravy
Recipe by Chef Michael Williams
Michael Williams

Sweet and Smoky Roast Turkey, Veggies and Gravy

  • Prep time 1 hour 30 mins
  • Cook time 1 hour 12 mins
  • Ready in 8 hours

This is a bit on an upscale take on turkey dinner. Dry brining is a great alternative to messy and challenging wet brining. The results are worth the extra attention and steps. Give this one a try and then rate the recipe after so I know if you enjoyed.


  • Dry brine spice blend:
  • Roast veggies:
  • Gravy:


  1. Whether fresh or defrosted, make sure that your turkey is very dry.  Pat it dry with paper towel if necessary inside and out.  Now sprinkle a bit of the spice blend inside the turkey and apply very liberally all over the bird on the outside.  (more than I did on the show).
  2. Now the brining begins.  Do this at least 24 hours before you are going to start roasting the bird, place it back in the fridge, uncovered and let it do its thing.
  3. On roasting day, pull the bird out of the fridge 90 minutes before you want to start roasting.  Your bird will need anywhere from 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours to roast…so do the math.
  4. Now it is time to tuck the butter under the skin of the bird.  You will need to gently separate the skin from the flesh, taking care to not tear it.  Once the skin is separate enough, work the butter around, spreading it from both the neck end and from the cavity end.
  5. Toss a few aromatics (onions, carrots, celery) in the cavity of the bird and roast in a 350 degree F oven until the thigh reaches 165 degrees F with a probe thermometer.
  6. While the bird is roasting, get the veggies cut, trayed and ready to roast.  Drizzle with a little oil (maybe add a couple knobs of butter) and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until tender along with the bird.  Set to convection if you have it.
  7. Remove the bird from the oven and let it rest in a warm place until you are ready to carve and eat.
  8. Let’s make gravy… Whatever drippings you end up with from roasting the turkey, you can top it up with a bit of water or broth so that you have about 1 L total.  If you have a very large bird, then maybe you want to make a larger batch.
  9. First step here is to make a roux.  3 table spoons of each white flour and butter will thicken approximately 1 L of broth/drippings.  Add the flour and butter to a medium pot and whisk on medium heat until the roux caramelizes and browns lightly.
  10. Now add about 1/3 of your drippings and broth/water mixture, whisking thoroughly.  This is your chance to get any lumps out, so whisk well.  Add the rest of the liquid and whisk well once again.  Check the seasoning of the gravy and add fresh herbs.
  11. You are ready to plate or platter this fantastic holiday dinner.  Enjoy.


Keep the neck and make some homemade turkey broth for when you are making gravy on roasting day.  You will likely not have enough drippings and need some extra broth or water…why not use homemade broth!  Just simmer the neck amply covered with water and add in a bit of onion, carrots and celery.  Simmer for 3 hours.

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Reviews on "Sweet and Smoky Roast Turkey, Veggies and Gravy" (2)

  1. February 20, 2022
    I love watching Michael on Cooking on the Coast, he knows his craft and after making several of his recipes I have had success every time. He knows just the right points to emphasize for the ordinary cook and I have learnt so much by watching him do his magic.

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