Turkey Dinner in a fraction of the time. And know one will know.
 Course Main Course
 Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
 Servings 10



  • 4 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 12-15- pound turkey , deboned or cut into pieces (so that the breasts are separated from the carcass, and the legs and thighs are also removed, as well as the wings), and patted dry (depending on the size of the wings, feel free to use these with the carcass to make stock.
  • 4 carrots , scrubbed and cut into 2″ pieces
  • 3 onions , quartered
  • 6 celery ribs , cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
  • 3/4 cup fresh refrigerated apple cider or fresh refrigerated apple juice


  • 2 cups (or more) Turkey Stock (see note below) or low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup fresh refrigerated apple cider or fresh refrigerated apple juice
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy) or applejack brandy (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage


  1. Rub salt and dried sage together in small bowl. Place the patted dry turkey pieces in two pans; rub well with the salt.  Leave to sit out on the counter for two hours.

  2. Set rack at middle position in oven and preheat to 425°F. Spread out the carrots, celery and onions between the 1 or 2 roasting pans or sheets with sides high enough to hold the basting liquids, you will be using.Lay out the turkey pieces over the vegetables in the roasting pan(s). Stir butter and chopped sage in small saucepan over low heat until butter melts. Brush all over turkey; sprinkle with pepper.

  3. Roast turkey 30 minutes; baste with any pan juices. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Roast turkey 30 minutes.Pour 3/4 cup apple cider over all; turn pan(s) around.

    Continue to roast turkey until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 165°F, basting and turning pan occasionally for even cooking, about 40-45 minutes. Transfer breast to platter; tent loosely with foil and let rest 30 to 45 minutes (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).   This time is for a breast that is on the bone.  Boneless breast rolled and tied may actually take longer, as it is thicker.  It may end up roasting as long as the legs and wings.

    Continue to roast turkey legs/thighs until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, basting and turning pan occasionally for even cooking, about 20-25 minutes. Add to breast pieces.

    Time will be affected by the size and thickness of the meat.


  1. Pour all pan juices into large measuring cup. Spoon off fat that rises to surface. Transfer 4 tablespoons fat to heavy large saucepan; discard remaining fat.

  2. Remove the vegetables to a bowl (great for snacking or serving)

    Place turkey roasting pan over 2 burners (if using two pans, scrape the bits from one and add it to the other. Add 2 cups stock or broth and 3/4 cup cider.

    Bring to boil over high heat, scraping up browned bits. Boil liquid until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 6 minutes. Add mixture in the measuring cup from roasting pan to degreased pan juices. If necessary, add enough stock to measure 3 1/2 cups stock mixture.

  3. Place saucepan with turkey fat over medium-high heat. Add flour; whisk 2 minutes. Whisk in stock mixture. Boil until gravy thickens enough to coat spoon thinly, about 6 minutes.Whisk in 2 tablespoons Calvados (if using), or more to taste, and sage. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Slice and arrange turkey slices on a platter. Drizzle with a little of the gravy.

Recipe Notes

I set the wings aside for stock.  If you don’t have time to get a real stock ready, below is a quick way to do it.

The day before cut the turkey up (saving the breasts, thighs and legs for roasting in a sealed pan and refrigerated) and place the wings and carcass, coarsely chopped onions (including the skin), 2 ribs of chopped celery, 1 leek, 3dried bay leaves, 10 peppercorns, bouquet garni of fresh parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (sounds like a great title for a song…) into a stock pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 3-4 hours. Strain, cool, refrigerate or freeze. This can be used for the gravy.

If preparing the meat earlier in the afternoon, prepare your gravy, and then in a baking dish, pour a small amount of gravy to just cover the bottom of the pan.  Add your rested and then sliced turkey onto the gravy.  Drizzle with a touch more gravy.  Cover with foil and reheat at 300F for about 10-15 minutes.  Keep the rest of the gravy on the back burner of your stove to reheat.

Gravy loosely adapted from Sage Butter-Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy, Bon Appetit


Recipes From Nature

Hi, I’m Nina! I'm a culinary school graduate sharing easy, healthy recipes rich in seasonal produce and whole foods. Let's get cooking!