Simple, beautiful and wonderfully scented.
That was the goal with this recipe for sage-infused roasted turkey. We get the bold flavor of sage — at once herbal and savory — into the turkey two ways. First, we add minced fresh sage to softened butter, which then is rubbed both under and over the bird's skin.
Then we inserted whole fresh sage leaves under the skin. As the turkey roasts and the skin becomes translucent, those leaves crisp in the melting fat and create a beautiful — and visible — pattern under the skin.
SAGE ROASTED TURKEY AND GRAVY
Start to finish: 3 to 4 hours
Makes a 12- to 14-pound turkey with gravy
1 large yellow onion, cut into chunks
1 large carrot, cut into large chunks
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh sage, plus 12 whole leaves
12- to 14-pound turkey
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken or turkey broth
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Heat the oven to 350 F. Place the onion and carrot in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Fit the roasting pan with a rack.
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, salt, pepper and minced sage. Gently loosen the skin of the turkey and massage some of the butter under the skin on the breasts and legs of the turkey. Massage more of the butter on the interior of the cavity, as well as on the outside of the skin all over the bird.
Place the 12 whole sage leaves under the skin of the turkey in various spots. Place the turkey in the roasting pan on the rack, breast side up. Cover with foil and roast for 1 hour. Remove the foil and roast for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the breast meat reaches 160 F and the thickest part of the thigh reaches 170 F.
Remove the rack and turkey from the roasting pan and cover with foil and a few kitchen towels to keep warm.
Remove and discard the onion and carrot pieces from the pan. Place the pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop (it may rest over more than one burner, if so, turn on both) and add the wine. Scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits, bring the juices to a simmer.
In a small bowl, whisk together the broth and flour. While stirring continuously, pour the broth mixture into the pan. Bring to a boil and stir for 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Strain the gravy, if desired. Serve alongside the turkey.
Nutrition information per serving (assumes 20 servings) (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 360 calories; 170 calories from fat (48 percent of total calories); 19 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 135 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrate; 43 g protein; 0 g fiber; 310 mg sodium..