Roast Turkey with Sage and Sherried Cider Giblet Gravy

8 servings
  • 12 to 14 pound turkey, neck and giblets (excluding liver) reserved for making stock
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 2 wedges
  • 7 large fresh sage sprigs
  • 2 slices firm whole-wheat sandwich bread
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 onion, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup water
  • For gravy:
  • 1 cup dry Sherry
  • 1 cup apple cider (preferably sparkling)
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups turkey giblet stock or chicken broth plus additional stock or broth for thinning gravy
  • Garnish:
  • Assorted fresh sage sprigs
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  • Rinse turkey and pat dry inside and out. Season turkey inside and out with salt and pepper and pack neck cavity with 1 lemon wedge, 1 sage sprig, and 1 bread slice. Fold neck skin under body and fasten with a skewer. Fill body cavity with apple, onion, 3 sage sprigs, and remaining lemon wedge and bread slice and truss turkey.

  • Rub turkey with remaining 3 sage sprigs and arrange sprigs on a rack set in a roasting pan. Spread turkey with butter and arrange on rack in roasting pan. Roast turkey in middle of oven 30 minutes.

  • Reduce temperature to 325 degrees F. and baste turkey with pan juices. Add water to roasting pan and roast turkey, basting every 20 minutes, 2 1/2 to 3 hours more, or until a meat thermometer inserted in fleshy part of a thigh registers 180 degrees F and juices run clear when thigh is pierced. Transfer turkey to a heated platter, reserving juices in roasting pan, and discard string. Keep turkey warm, covered loosely with foil. Make gravy: Skim fat from pan juices, reserving 1/4 cup fat, and on top of stove deglaze pan with Sherry over moderately high heat, scraping up brown bits. Stir in cider. Bring Sherry mixture to a boil and remove pan from heat. In a heavy saucepan whisk together reserved fat and flour and cook roux over moderately low heat, whisking, 3 minutes. Add Sherry mixture and 2 cups stock or broth in a stream, whisking to prevent lumping, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes. Whisk in additional stock or broth to thin gravy if desired. Season gravy with salt and pepper and transfer to a heated gravy boat.Garnish turkey with sage.

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