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Recipe courtesy of Aida Mollenkamp

Apple and Sage Turkey

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 5 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr 15 min
  • Cook: 3 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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For the turkey:

1 (14 to 15-pound) fresh turkey

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

10 fresh sage leaves

1 orange, halved

1 head garlic, end trimmed

2 medium red onions, peeled and quartered

3 medium Pink Lady, apples, cored and halved

No Recipe Recipe: Simple Gravy, recipe follows

6 tablespoons butter

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Chicken broth

A few fresh sage leaves

Apple juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



  1. For the turkey: Heat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature white oven heats, about 30 to 45 minutes. Discard the giblets and reserve neck. Rinse out the turkey's cavity and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the turkey all over with 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil; season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put the sage leaves under skin. Season the cavity with salt and pepper, squeeze 1/2 of the orange all over the bird and put the other half inside the cavity along with the garlic.
  3. Arrange the turkey in a large roasting pan and roast until the skin is golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Put the neck, onions, and apples in a bowl and toss with remaining 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Reduce the oven the temperature to 350 degrees F and add the apples, onions and turkey neck to the roasting pan. Baste with pan drippings about every 45 minutes. Roast the turkey until the internal temperature of the inner thigh reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
  5. Remove from the oven to a cutting board and let rest uncovered, at least 30 minutes, while you prepare the gravy. Remove apples and the onions to a serving platter. Carve the turkey and arrange on the serving platter. Serve with the Simple Gravy.
  6. No Recipe Recipe: Simple Gravy:
  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it foams, whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook until the flour loses its raw flavor and turns peanut color, about 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth until the mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook until it becomes a light tan color.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the turkey from roasting pan and set aside to rest. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings from roasting pan. Put the pan on the stovetop over medium heat. When pan juices are hot, add the sage leaves and fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the neck bone. Add a big splash of apple juice and scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Strain this liquid into the thickened chicken broth mixture and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until thick and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with your turkey and sides.

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