Apple-Sage Roasted Turkey
FOR THE TURKEY:
1/3 cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
1/3 cup apple jelly
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1 seedless orange
1 (12- to 14-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed if frozen
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Leaves from 1 bunch fresh sage
3 large tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored, peeled if desired,
and cut into wedges
FOR THE CIDER PAN GRAVY:
3 tablespoons fat (from drippings in roasting pan)
1 (13 3/4-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth and 1/3 cup apple
cider or unsweetened apple juice (or enough to make 3 cups liquid)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon bourbon or orange juice
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons margarine or butter (optional)
Red and green seedless grapes
Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
In small saucepan over medium heat, stir apple cider, jelly, and
margarine until jelly and margarine are melted and mixture is
blended and smooth. Remove from heat.
Grate peel from orange; set aside (reserve about 1/2 teaspoon of the
peel to flavor gravy). Cut orange in half, squeezing juice from one
half into mixture. Slice remaining half; set aside.
Remove giblets and neck from turkey; set aside for other use. Rinse
turkey under cold running water; drain well; pat thoroughly dry with
paper towels. Rub turkey all over with reserved orange peel (see
note*); sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper.
Gently loosen skin over entire turkey breast by inserting fingertips
between skin and flesh. Arrange as many sage leaves as desired over
flesh; pat skin back into place. Stuff neck and body cavities of
turkey loosely with apple wedges, reserved orange slices, and
remaining sage leaves, reserving a few for garnish; close both
cavities with skewers. Tie legs together; tuck wings under body.
Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan; brush
all over with reserved cider mixture.
Roast 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Roast 4
to 4 1/4 hours longer until breast skin is crisp and golden and
juices run clear when thigh is pricked with fork, or until meat
thermometer registers 180 degrees F.; baste bird every 20 minutes,
first with remaining cider mixture, then with pan drippings. If
turkey seems to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil.
Remove turkey to platter, reserving drippings in pan for Cider Pan
Gravy. Let turkey rest, covered lightly with foil, 20 minutes while
you prepare gravy.
PREPARE THE CIDER PAN GRAVY:
Scrape turkey roasting pan to loosen browned bits; tilt pan and pour
off fat and drippings into 4-cup glass measuring cup. Let fat rise
to surface; skim off 3 tablespoons fat and place in 2-quart
saucepan. Discard remaining fat. To drippings pan in measuring cup
chicken broth and apple cider or unsweetened apple juice, or enough
to make 3 cups liquid; set aside.
Set saucepan with fat over medium heat; stir in garlic and flour
until flour and fat are well-blended. Cook 2 minutes, stirring
constantly until mixture is golden.
Gradually stir in reserved liquid. Bring to boil, stirring; cook 5
Remove from heat; stir in bourbon or orange juice, reserved grated
orange peel, and, if desired, 2 tablespoons margarine or butter.
Makes about 3 cups.
Remove skewers and string from turkey to carve; serve turkey
garnished with reserved sage leaves and grapes, and accompanied by
gravy and cranberry sauce.