Nothing conjurs up memories of Thanksgiving like the smell of fresh sage. The aroma fills your head with visions of turkeys and dressing and cranberry sauce. What a wonderful herb! I was using some a couple weeks ago while roasting a chicken and I asked my eight-year old son, Tyler, to smell it. He obliged and quickly responded with an “Ewwww!” He didn’t appreciate that glorious smell, but I told him when he gets older it will remind him of Thanksgiving. This is due to the fact that I always use fresh sage when making my roast turkey. This year I will be doing my tradional roasted bird and I will also be doing a deep fried turkey. Can’t wait to dive into that delicious poultry!
18-22 lb frozen turkey completely thawed (remove neck, gizzard and livers from body cavity)
2 navel oranges cut into sixths
2 lemons cut into sixths
1/4 – 1/2 c fresh sage leaves kept whole
2 small or 1 large yellow onion cut into sixths
6c chicken or turkey stock (use about 4c for gravy)
2T unsalted butter softened
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425F. Rinse your turkey thoroughly with cold water and pat completely dry with paper towels. Season the inside of your bird with salt, pepper and some ground sage. Stuff your citrus, onion and fresh sage inside both body cavitys. Place the turkey neck bone in a roasting pan and pour about 1c of stock into your roasting pan. Lift up skin flap covering breasts and spread 1T of butter under skin onto each breast. Coat the outside of your bird with olive oil, salt, pepper and ground sage and place on rack in roasting pan. Fold skin over turkey body cavity and tuck wings under body. Pull legs together and secure with butchers twine. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes and then turn temperature down to 325F. Your turkey should be done after about 4-4 1/2 hours. Baste your bird every 30 minutes with additional chicken stock. You may need to cover the turkey with foil during the last 30-45 minutes of cooking time so it doesn’t get too brown so keep an eye on it.
Once it is done let your bird rest for about 20 minutes before carving. Take the stock and drippings from the roasting pan and make a gravy. Use a fat seperator or chill your stock to remove excess fat (you could also use the fat in place of the butter for your roux). I start mine in a large pot and melt about 4T of butter and then add 4T of gluten-free flour to make a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then whisk in your stock from the roasting pan and add an additional 2-4 c of stock. Cook until thickened and add poultry seasoning, salt and pepper as needed. This makes an amazing gravy!