Apple-Sage Roasted Turkey Recipe
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Apple-Sage Roasted 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

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
Cranberry sauce

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.

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 minutes longer.

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.

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