Roast Turkey With Root Vegetables
Roasting turkey wings, legs, and breasts over root vegetables, butternut squash, and herbs not only lends the meat a sweet and vegetal flavor but also allows you to treat each piece like a mini roast that can be taken out of the oven as soon as it's cooked to the correct temperature. The turkey takes just under two hours to fully cook (much faster than a whole bird would), so get the turkey started first, then the remainder of the menu can be completely finished within those two hours. Keep checking the temperature of each piece of turkey while it cooks, some pieces will be done before others and should be removed so they won't get dry. Get the recipe for Roast Turkey with Root Vegetables and Gravy ». Todd Coleman

This recipe involves three steps. First, rub a flavored butter under the turkey’s skin. Then roast the turkey over root vegetables until each piece is done. Finally, make a gravy with the juices left in the roasting pan.

Pairing note: The sweet roasted vegetables call for a tart carignan, like Pelligrini Redwood Valley 2008 ($18).

What You Will Need

Yield: serves 10-12


  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 (12-lb.) turkey, cut into 8 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 3 turnips, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 celery root, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2″ pieces
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 sprigs each fresh thyme and rosemary
  • 1 cup white wine or sherry
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch


  1. Heat oven to 500°. In a bowl, mix butter, parsley, cumin, paprika, and shallots; set aside. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Loosen turkey skin; rub butter under skin. Combine root vegetables and squash in a bowl. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Transfer vegetables to a large roasting pan; spread to cover bottom. Arrange thyme and rosemary over vegetables. Arrange turkey over herbs and vegetables. Roast turkey for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into each turkey breast reads 150° and each leg, thigh, and wing reads 160°, about 1 hour. (Some pieces will be done before others.) Continue cooking vegetables until tender. Discard herbs; transfer vegetables to a serving platter along with turkey and tent with foil to keep warm.
  2. Pour pan juices into a large measuring cup. Pour off and discard fat; transfer liquid to a 2-qt. saucepan. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together cornstarch and ½ cup water in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into reduced liquid; return to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve gravy with turkey and vegetables.