The night before roasting your turkey, remove any giblets and the neck and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a large baking dish. At this point, I stick it in the fridge overnight, uncovered – away from anything that it could touch. I’ve been doing this for a few years and it makes for amazing crispy turkey skin!
Remove the turkey from the fridge one hour or so before roasting.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the turkey in a roasting pan, breast-side up. At this point, you can fill the cavity with stuffing if desired (my favorite part!). If you choose not to do stuffing, you can add a mixture of fresh herbs, like sage, thyme and rosemary. Tie the legs loosely together with kitchen twine. Tuck the wings under the turkey.
In a large bowl, whisk together the white wine and the melted butter. Take a piece of cheesecloth and fold it until you have a 4-layer, 12-inch square. Submerge it in the wine and butter and let it soak for 10 minutes.
Rub the turkey all over with the softened butter. Sprinkle it with the salt and the pepper. Remove the cheesecloth from the wine butter and barely wring it out. Cover the turkey bread with the 4 layer cheesecloth. Roast for 30 minutes. Baste the turkey with the remaining butter and wine mixture in the bowl.
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Roast the turkey for 1 hour 45 minutes or about 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the butter and wine in the bowl, or the drippings from the bottom of the roasting pan.
After 2 hours, gently remove the cheesecloth. Continue to baste the turkey liberally with the drippings or the butter and wine. Roast it for about 60 more minutes, until the temperature taken in the thigh reaches 180 degrees F.
Once the turkey is finished, let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes before slicing.
Strain the drippings from the roasting pan into a large pot or saucepan and set it over medium heat. You can also make this gravy directly in the roasting pan, which is what we often do! Add the cold water to a shaker bottle (or water bottle/mason jar) and add the flour on top. Shake the heck out of it for 30 to 60 seconds, until the flour seems completely incorporated and creates a slurry. With a whisk or fork in one hand, pour the slurry into the drippings, sitting constantly with the other hand. Continue to stir to avoid any lumps and stir until the gravy has thickened, anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Make sure you are scraping the bottom of the pan. We stir out gravy for a LONG time.
Taste the gravy and season it to your liking. Set it over low heat for serving. My mom stores her extra gravy in the fridge for about a week. To reheat it, she places it in a saucepan (it will look gelatinous and disgusting) and adds a touch of water or stock. She heats it over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s back to it’s original consistency. Like soups and sauces, it often tastes better the next day!
You can easily make this with a smaller or larger turkey, just by adjusting the amounts of butter and wine!