- 2 cups applewood smoking chips, soaked in water
Seasoning Spice Mix:
- 2 tablespoons herbs de Provence
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 1/4 cup onion powder
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cracked toasted fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons cracked toasted coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons smoked salt
- 1 fresh turkey (12 to 14 pounds)
- 1 bulb fresh fennel, greens removed, and bulb sliced
- 1 Meyer lemon, halved
- 1 head garlic, split through the equator
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
- 1/4 bunch fresh sage, plus leaves for garnish
- 4 to 5 sprigs rosemary
- 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Pumpkin Sage Gravy, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To set up the smoker: Take your turkey roaster and line it with aluminum foil.
Drain the applewood chips and add to the bottom of the pan. Put the pan over high heat on the stove-top. The chips will begin to smolder and smoke.
For spice mix: In a small bowl add the first 5 ingredients and mix well. Combine the remaining ingredients in a mortar and pestle and mash until you have the texture of coarse sand. Add this mixture to the spice bowl.
Prepare the turkey. Wash the bird inside and out under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels and season inside the cavity well with the spice mix. Stuff the bird with sliced fennel, lemon, garlic, bay, sage, rosemary and thyme. Pin the wings back behind the base of the breast. Truss the bird using kitchen twine. Coat the turkey in olive oil and season all over the outside with the remaining spice mix.
Once the chips start smoking arrange the turkey on a rack and put it over the smoking chips. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the whole pan with foil so the smoke encapsulates the entire bird. Turn the temperature down slightly and smoke for 10 to 15 minutes. Once done, remove the foil and lift the whole rack with the turkey out of the pan. Discard the foil with the chips. (Make sure you put the chips out by submerging in water before discarding.) Put the rack back into the roaster pan and roast in the preheated oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh should register 170 degrees F. If the legs or breast brown too quickly during roasting, cover them with foil.
When done, remove the turkey from the oven and set aside to rest. Transfer to a platter and garnish with sage.
Pumpkin Sage Gravy:
- 1 1/2 pounds bacon, cut into large dice
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 6 fresh sage leaves, divided
- 2 cups diced fresh pumpkin
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
In a large pan over medium heat add the bacon. Cook for 5 minutes until the bacon is beginning to crisp. Add the onions, garlic, 3 torn sage leaves, and the pumpkin. Saute until the onions caramelize, about 5 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into pan to deglaze and simmer until the pumpkin is completely soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Once the pumpkin is tender, pour the gravy through fine mesh strainer, into a bowl. Press the solids with a spoon to extract all the liquid and pulp possible. Return the gravy to the pot and continue to simmer and reduce by half, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add the remaining 3 whole fresh sage leaves. Stir in the butter and once combined pour the gravy into a serving bowl or pitcher.
Yield: about 1 quart