*If you prefer not to use alcohol, you may use additional chicken stock instead. If using beer, do not use an IPA or anything hoppy, as it will become bitter as it cooks. If using hard cider, make sure it’s on the dry side (not sweet) and doesn’t have additional flavors you don’t want. (For example, a ginger-infused option may not be desirable here. I ask for suggestions when purchasing hard cider, as I don’t regularly drink it.)
Helpful hint: You can adjust the amount of liquid according to the size of the turkey and add more wine, broth or water if the roasting pan looks dry midway through the cooking process.
Extra gravy or stock and what to do with the giblets and neck?
My grandmother and mom, who never let anything go to waste, always used the turkey neck and giblets to make extra broth to add to the pan juices used for gravy. It’s a small extra step that allows for more gravy – and more flavorful gravy at that. Simply simmer them in a pot with 4 cups chicken broth, water or a mix, along with 1 quartered yellow onion, 2 chopped celery ribs, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns and 1 sprig each fresh sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley (or whichever you have on hand). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and then cover and simmer on low for 1 hour. Pour through a mesh metal strainer to remove solids.
This step is relatively hands-off and easy to do while the turkey is roasting. The broth may be combined with the turkey pan drippings to make gravy, as mentioned, or it can be used to moisten stuffing or saved for soup. Store in the fridge for 3 days or freeze for several months.