This classic roasted turkey has just enough of a twist from orange zest and a fresh herb rub to keep things interesting.

Lisa Holderness Brown
Source: Better Homes and Gardens

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Credit: Carson Downing

Recipe Summary test

hands-on:
15 mins
total:
2115 mins(includes 24-hour brining)
Servings:
12
Max Servings:
14
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Roast Turkey with Citrus and Sage

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Two to three days before roasting, remove neck and giblets from thawed turkey (reserve for gravy, if desired, or discard). Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Zest the orange; reserve fruit. For dry brine: In a small bowl stir together orange zest, thyme, 3 to 4 Tbsp. kosher salt, and 1 tsp. black pepper. Gently loosen skin of turkey. Rub turkey all over with dry brine, including under skin and inside the cavity. Cover turkey with plastic wrap or place in a 2-gal. resealable plastic bag and seal. Place in a roasting pan or large container. Refrigerate 24 to 48 hours, turning occasionally.

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  • One day ahead of roasting, remove turkey from bag. Pat dry with paper towels. Gently stuff sage and parsley under turkey skin. Return turkey to pan or container. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight (8 to 12 hours). (This step allows skin to dry so it will be crispy.)

  • One hour before roasting, remove turkey from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, quarter reserved orange. Stuff cavity with orange and onion. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Twist wing tips under back to hold neck skin in place. Brush turkey with 3 Tbsp. olive oil. If you like, insert an oven-going meat thermometer into center of an inside thigh muscle (not touching bone).

  • Roast 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Roast 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hours more or until thermometer registers at least 175°F in thigh. About 40 minutes before the end of roasting, rotate pan; cover turkey loosely with foil. When turkey is done, the juices should run clear and the drumsticks should move easily in their sockets. Transfer turkey to a cutting board, reserving drippings in roasting pan for gravy. Cover turkey; let rest at least 15 minutes before carving. Serve with Bourbon and Cider Pan Gravy. Serves 12 to 14.

Take It Easy:

Instead of a whole turkey, use 8 lb. bone-in turkey pieces (breast, thighs, and/or drumsticks). For rub, stir together thyme, sage, parsley, orange zest, 2 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Rub all over turkey pieces and under loosened skin. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush turkey with 2 Tbsp. olive oil or melted butter. (Omit orange and onion used to stuff cavity.) Place on greased rack of a roasting pan. Let stand at room temperature 30 to 60 minutes. Roast turkey pieces, uncovered, 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 325°F. Roast 1 to 1 1/4 hours more or until done (165°F for breast, at least 175°F for drumsticks and thighs), covering with foil as needed to prevent overbrowning. Let rest and serve as directed.

Tips

Make sure to thaw turkey in refrigerator before dry brining. Allow 1 day per 3 1/2 to 4 pounds of turkey.

Nutrition Facts (Roast Turkey with Citrus and Sage)

511 calories; total fat 21g; saturated fat 5g; polyunsaturated fat 5g; monounsaturated fat 8g; cholesterol 244mg; sodium 1126mg; potassium 582mg; carbohydrates 1g; fiber 0g; sugar 0g; protein 74g; trans fatty acid 0g; vitamin a 218IU; vitamin c 2mg; thiamin 0mg; riboflavin 1mg; niacin equivalents 23mg; vitamin b6 1mg; folate 16mcg; vitamin b12 3mcg; calcium 53mg; iron 3mg.

Bourbon and Cider Gravy

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • After roasting turkey, transfer to a cutting board. Pour drippings into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Skim off fat, reserving 1/4 cup fat. Add cider and bourbon to roasting pan, stirring to loosen brown bits. Add cider mixture to skimmed drippings. Add enough turkey broth to equal 2 cups.

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  • In a medium saucepan place reserved fat. Whisk in flour. Cook and stir over medium 1 minute. Add drippings mixture all at once. Cook and stir over medium until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Makes 2 1/4 cups.

Tips

Prep as directed, using 1/4 cup butter in place of turkey fat. Combine cider and bourbon; add enough broth to equal 2 cups. Melt butter in saucepan and cook as directed in Step 2; cool slightly. Transfer to an airtight container; refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat gravy in a saucepan. If you like, add 2 to 3 Tbsp. drippings from the turkey for extra flavor.

Take It Easy:

In a small saucepan stir together one 12-oz. jar purchased turkey gravy, 1/4 cup apple cider, and 2 Tbsp. bourbon; heat through. If you like, stir in 2 to 3 Tbsp. turkey drippings and 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Nutrition Facts (Bourbon and Cider Gravy)

56 calories; total fat 4g; saturated fat 2g; polyunsaturated fat 0g; monounsaturated fat 1g; cholesterol 10mg; sodium 1339mg; potassium 10mg; carbohydrates 3g; fiber 0g; sugar 1g; protein 1g; trans fatty acid 0g; vitamin a 119IU; vitamin c 0mg; thiamin 0mg; riboflavin 0mg; niacin equivalents 0mg; vitamin b6 0mg; folate 5mcg; vitamin b12 0mcg; calcium 2mg; iron 0mg.
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