White Wine Basted Turkey

Thanksgiving…Christmas…When the holidays are upon us, chances are that means you’re cooking a turkey. Take the stress off by using this process of a cheesecloth basted with white wine and butter to ensure a juicy succulent bird every time.  


1 15 pound turkey, giblets and neck removed from cavity

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 cups dry white wine

1 large piece of cheesecloth, folded into a square

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, mixed with favorite fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley)

Salt and black pepper

4 cups chicken stock for roasting pan or more as needed


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine melted butter and white wine in a bowl. Immerse cheesecloth in the butter and wine mixture; let soak.

2. pat the turkey dry with paper towel inside and out. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a heavy metal roasting pan. Season the cavity and the entire outside of the turkey with salt and pepper. place the butter and herb mixture in the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey to hold the flap of skin in place. Tie legs together loosely with kitchen string. 

3. Lift the cheesecloth out of the liquid and squeeze it slightly, leaving it very damp. Spread it evenly over the breast and sides of the turkey. Place the turkey in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Using a pastry brush, baste the cheesecloth and rest of turkey with the butter and wine mixture. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 2 1/2 more hours, basting every 30 minutes. 

4. After 2 1/2 hours, carefully remove and discard cheesecloth. Baste turkey with pan juices. If there are not enough juices, continue to use butter and wine. Cook 1 more hour, baste again after 30 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven when the internal temperature in the thickest part of the leg is 165 degrees.

5. Transfer turkey to a serving platter, loosely cover with foil and let rest for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gravy.

To make gravy:

Pour all the pan juices into a glass measuring cup. Let stand until grease rises to the surface, about 10 minutes, then skim it off. Meanwhile, place roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup white wine or chicken stock to the pan. Using a whisk, scrape all the browned crisp bits from the bottom of the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Mix 2 tablespoons flour into the the defatted pan juices. Whisk this mixture into the gravy. Reduce the heat to a medium simmer and continue whisking another 10 minutes or until the gravy is thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

Serves 12.


(Image From WhatsCookingAmerica.net)