Updated: Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010, 11:55 AM CST
Published : Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010, 7:29 AM CST
1/2 cup butter
2 cups white wine (can substitute vegetable broth or chicken broth)
1 onion, quartered
salt and pepper
12-14 pound turkey
Heat the butter and wine in a small saucepan until the butter is melted. Figure out the size of cheesecloth, you need to make about a 4-layer covering for your turkey. Soak the cheesecloth in the wine and butter.
Remove the neck and giblets (gizzard, heart, liver) from the turkey. Keep these to make some broth for your gravy (except for the liver) Rinse your turkey and pat dry with paper towels.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the turkey in a v-rack in a roasting pan, breast side up. Put a carrot, a quartered onion, and some salt and pepper inside the turkey. Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper. Take the cheesecloth out of the wine and butter and lay it over the turkey, covering it.
Put the turkey into the oven for 30 minutes, legs toward the back if your pan will fit that way. The cheesecloth will get black; it is just the sugar from the wine caramelizing.
In the meantime, put the turkey neck and gizzards in a saucepan and cover with 6 cups of water. Add a half a carrot, half an onion, stalk of celery, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cover. Let it cook for a few hours to get some good broth for your gravy.
After 30 minutes pull the turkey out and baste with some leftover wine and butter. If the bottom of the pan is very dry, add a cup of water or broth to it.
Reduce the heat to 350 and cook another couple of hours. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes, squirting the butter and wine onto the cheesecloth until it is gone. Once it is gone, use the pan juices. If there are none, pour water in the pan and then use that. It all varies depending on how large a turkey you have so use meat thermometer at the end to verify.
About an hour before you think the turkey will be done, take it out of the oven and remove the cheesecloth. Baste again, put the uncovered turkey back in the oven, and baste again after 30 more minutes.
Check the temperature at the thickest part of the thigh with a meat thermometer. The leg should register 170-175F and one in the breast 160-165. Let the turkey sit 30 minutes before carving. At some point, but not right away, lift the turkey up and drain the cooking liquid from the inside into your roasting pan.