IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Giada De Laurentiis' Smoky Paprika-Rubbed Turkey

Giada De Laurentiis’s Smoky Paprika-Rubbed Turkey
6 to 8

Chef notes

An easy smoked paprika rub enhances the flavors of this Thanksgiving turkey by chef Giada De Laurentiis.


For the Turkey
  • 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 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 the 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



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 hours.


Day of: 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 30 minutes.


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.


For the gravy: 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 alongside of the turkey.