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Tired of your usual gravy? Try Tom Douglas' recipe!

We joined Tom Douglas at the Hot Stove Society kitchen so he could show us how to make it! #newdaynw

SEATTLE — One of the key components that ties a Thanksgiving meal together is often overlooked, we're talking about the gravy!

Lucky for us, chef Tom Douglas said he'd share his recipe with us if we visited him at the Hot Stove Society kitchen. so we did!

Roast Turkey with Sweet Onion Gravy by Tom Douglas

Makes about 10 servings; or serves 6 with leftovers (Gravy yields about 4 cups)


For the fennel salt: 

  • 3 Tbsp kosher salt 
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground 
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

For the turkey: 

  • One 10 pound turkey, excess fat discarded 
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Zest of 1 lemon, removed in long strips with a vegetable peeler 
  • 4 large sprigs of thyme, plus the stems from the chopped thyme 
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1 medium onion (about 12 ounces) peeled, cut in half, and thinly sliced  

For the smoked paprika and fennel butter: 

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground 
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika 
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (save the stems for the cavity)
  •  ½ tsp kosher salt
  •  ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the sweet onion gravy: 

  • 7 Tbsp all purpose flour 
  • 2 Tbsp Rub with Love Exotic Mushroom Rub
  • 4½ to 5 cups turkey stock


  1. To make the fennel-salt, combine the salt, fennel, and pepper in a small bowl. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the mixture for sprinkling on the turkey and transfer the rest of the fennel-salt to a couple of small, shallow dishes for passing at the table. Set aside. 
  2. To make the paprika-fennel butter, put the butter in a small bowl. Add the fennel, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper, and mix until well blended. Set aside. 
  3. Trim the wing tips from the turkey. Remove the gizzards and neck and set aside for stock. Remove the livers and discard. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. When you are ready to roast the turkey, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the turkey on a work surface and loosen the skin over the breasts by running your hands under the skin. Rub the smoked paprika butter under the skin and over the breasts. Sprinkle the reserved 2 Tbsp fennel-salt all over the skin of the turkey and also sprinkle a little inside the cavity, then place the garlic cloves, lemon zest, and thyme sprigs inside the cavity. Brush the roasting pan lightly with a little of the melted butter. Make a bed of the onions in the center of the pan. Place the prepared turkey directly over the onions (ie. no rack). 
  4. Brush or baste the turkey with the rest of the melted butter and place the pan in the oven. After the first hour of roasting, baste the turkey with the fat that has collected in the pan and rotate the pan. Continue to roast, basting every 20 minutes until the turkey is done, about an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half longer (If the turkey is browning too much, tent with foil, total roasting time is 2¼ to 2½ hours). The turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165º to 170ºF. Remove the pan from the oven and set the turkey on a large platter to rest, tented with foil, for about 20 minutes, while you make the gravy. 
  5. To make the gravy, set the roasting pan with the onions, juices, and drippings over the burner over medium high heat. Stir up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula. Sprinkle the flour and Rub with Love Exotic Mushroom Rub evenly over the contents of the pan and stir with the wooden spoon for a few minutes until the flour is combined with the onions, fats and juices in the pan. Add the stock, a ladle-full at a time, using a whisk to whisk out the lumps before you add more stock. Continue adding stock, whisking each time until smooth, until you’ve added about 4½ cups of stock. Add any juices that have collected on the platter around the turkey. Lower the heat to medium and simmer the gravy, whisking occasionally, for about 8 to10 minutes. The gravy should be thick enough to coat a spoon. If it seems too thick, add the remaining ½ cup stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer the gravy to a gravy boat. Carve the turkey. Pass the gravy and fennel salt at the table.

Watch for more Thanksgiving cooking tips from Tom!

Segment Producer Joseph Suttner. Watch New Day Northwest 11 a.m. weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.

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