Ted Allen's Deconstructed Holiday Turkey With Sage Gravy

Total Time:
2 hr 10 min
40 min
1 hr 30 min

8 servings

  • For the Turkey:
  • 1 whole bone-in turkey breast (6 1/2 to 7 pounds)
  • 3 turkey drumsticks (about 2 1/4 pounds total)
  • 2 turkey thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half (do not peel)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 large sprigs sage, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 1/4 cup fresh celery leaves (from 1 bunch)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Gravy:
  • 2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • cup all-purpose flour

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Brine the turkey: Rinse the turkey parts and place in doubled 21/2-gallon resealable plastic bags (or a large stockpot). Add 1/4 cup salt, the honey, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, 2 sprigs sage, the peppercorns, allspice and celery leaves. Add enough cold water to cover the turkey (about 3 quarts). Press out the air, close the bags and place in a large bowl or other container to protect against any leaks. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

  • Roast the turkey: Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 425. Remove the turkey parts from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Place skin-side up on racks set in 2 medium roasting pans (be sure to leave space between the turkey parts to allow air to circulate). Pour 1 cup water into each pan. Drizzle the turkey parts with melted butter and scatter with the leaves from the remaining 2 sage sprigs. Place 1 pan on each oven rack and roast until the turkey begins to brown, about 30 minutes.

  • Lower the oven temperature to 400. Switch the positions of the pans and rotate from front to back. Continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast (avoiding bone) registers 165degrees, 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes. Transfer the turkey parts to a platter and tent with foil.

  • Make the gravy: Pour the pan juices into a 4-cup glass measuring cup and let rest until the fat rises to the top, 2 to 3 minutes. Skim off and reserve the fat. Set 1 roasting pan across 2 burners, add 2 cups chicken broth and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, scraping up any browned bits. Add the simmering broth to the pan juices in the measuring cup, then add the additional chicken broth, if needed, to equal 4 cups liquid.

  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the broth mixture and any collected juices from the platter. Increase the heat to medium high and boil, uncovered, until thickened, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Carve the turkey pieces and garnish with sage. Serve with the gravy.

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Thanksgiving Entertaining