Giada serves up turkey and gravy two ways

Whether you're serving a big group just a couple people, Giada De Laurentiis has you covered with her Thanksgiving turkey recipes.

Smokey autumn turkey

Makes 6 to 8 servings


    • 1 12-pound turkey
    • 8 sprigs sage, divided
    • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 bunch of thyme
    • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in quarters
    • 1 lemon, cut in quarters
    • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • For gravy

    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Baking Directions:

Starting the day before, if they are included, remove the neck and gizzards from inside the turkey. Discard or save for another use. Using a paper towel, dry the turkey very well inside and out. Slide your hands under the skin of the breast creating 2 pockets. Place 5 leaves of fresh sage, flat, in each pocket. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, paprika and black pepper. Season the bird inside and out rubbing the spices into the bird and seasoning heavier on the thicker parts. Place the turkey in a large zipper bag or in the roasting pan covered loosely and refrigerate for at least 12 hour or up to 24. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the remaining sage, thyme, onion and the lemon pieces. Using butchers twine, cross the ankles of the bird and tie the legs together. Brush the outside of the turkey with the olive oil. Place the bird in a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 375 degrees and add the chicken broth to the bottom of the pan. Continue to roast, basting every 45 minutes, until an internal temperature in the thigh of the turkey reads 160 degrees, about 2 hours more. Cover with foil if the skin begins to darken too quickly. Remove the bird from the pan and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before slicing. Pour the turkey drippings into a medium sauce pan scraping all of the bits from the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the drippings over medium heat and whisk in the flour to form a paste. Cook this over medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until it is a medium amber color. Add the white wine and continue whisking for 1 minute longer. Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper and whisk until smooth. Bring the gravy to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the gravy through a fine mesh strainer just before serving along side of the turkey.

Turkey for two

Makes 2 (with room for leftovers) to 4 servings


    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1/4 cup walnut pieces, roughly chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
    • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped
    • 1/2 bunch of Tuscan Kale cut into 1/2 inch pieces, about 3 cups
    • 1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
    • 1 – 3# boneless turkey breast, butterflied
    • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • For gravy

    • 3 tablespoons brandy
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream


Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.Heat a medium sized ovenproof sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and walnuts and sauté for about 3 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to toast. Add the pepper flakes, rosemary and thyme and cook for 1 minute more. Add the kale to the pan with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the kale begins to wilt. Pour in the water and the cranberries and cook, stirring often for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the water has evaporated the kale is completely wilted. Set aside to cool slightly. Lay the turkey breast flat on a board with the skin side down. Season the inside with 1 teaspoon salt. Spread the mustard evenly over the entire surface. Distribute the kale filling evenly over the mustard. (Wipe out the pan and reserve for roasting the bird) Begin to roll up the turkey, like a jelly roll, starting with the side without the skin so that when you finish rolling it looks like a whole turkey breast with the skin on the outside. Using butchers twine, tie the breast in 1 inch sections across the breast and once around the length of the turkey. Season the outside with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and rub with the olive oil. Place the rolled turkey in the pan and roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, add the chicken broth to the pan and return it to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Remove the turkey or a board to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, make the gravy.Place the pan with the turkey drippings over medium heat. Off of the heat, add the brandy being carful as it will splatter. Return the pan to the heat*, and continue to cook for another minute. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes until smooth. Whisk in the broth and allow the gravy to simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the cream and warm through. Strain the gravy before serving if desired.


Be careful that when you place the pan with the brandy in it back over the heat that there is a chance it may ignite. It will go out on it’s own once the alcohol has cooked off, about 30 seconds.