Lemon-Sage Turkey with Wild-Mushroom Gravy

Yield: 12 servings

Remember to reserve the drippings from the bottom of the pan. You will use them to make the gravy.

3 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried rubbed sage
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 (12-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed


2 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
Cooking spray
Wild-Mushroom Gravy (see recipe)

Combine first 6 ingredients; set aside.

Remove and discard giblets from turkey, reserving neck for gravy. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Rub spice mixture under loosened skin; rub into the body cavity.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour 1 can of broth in bottom of a shallow roasting pan. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack coated with cooking spray. Place rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 1/2 hours.

Carefully pour 1 can of broth into pan. Bake an additional 1 1/2 hours or until thermometer registers 180 degrees F. Remove turkey from oven; reserve pan drippings to make gravy. Cover turkey loosely with foil; let stand 15 to 20 minutes. Discard skin. Serve with Wild-Mushroom Gravy.

Wild-Mushroom Gravy

Yield: 3 cups

If your pan doesn't yield enough drippings, add water or chicken broth.

Pan drippings
2 cups water
3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
1 turkey neck
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 3 1/2 ounces)
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon red currant jelly
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place a large zip-top plastic bag inside a 4-cup measure. Pour drippings from turkey roasting pan into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings to measure 2 cups, stopping before fat layer reaches opening. Reserve 2 tablespoons fat in bag; set aside.

Combine water, shallots, carrot, and turkey neck in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Strain cooking liquid though a sieve over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Discard solids, reserving turkey neck. Remove meat from neck; chop. Add meat and cooking liquid to defatted 2 cups drippings in 4-cup measure.

Heat reserved 2 tablespoons fat in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms; sauté 2 minutes. Add flour; cook 1 minute. Gradually add cooking liquid mixture; cook 10 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in jelly and pepper.

By Kathy

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November 20, 20040 found this helpful

Kathy, this sounds like a great recipe. I only have two problems with it: discarding the giblets and adding water. Those giblets are going into my gravy, and I seldom add water to anything unless I'm making stock. (You can make this with the giblets and neck as well, but heavens, don't discard them!) In place of the water, try beer.


I will try the recipe, with my couple of modifications. It really sounds wonderful!

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March 19, 20090 found this helpful

Alph you're right, waste not want not. The giblets take extra time to deal with. (How long do you have to boil a turkey heart or gizzard, anyhow, so they don't end up as bits of rubber in the gravy?) Feed to cat or dog, they'll appreciate being part of the feast too. Keep neck for yourself.

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