Maple Sage-Glazed Roast Turkey

Temps des Fêtes 2016
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food and drink

BY: Jennifer MacKenzie

Roast turkey doesn’t need a lot of fuss to make it worthy of the spotlight. A simple glaze featuring Canadian maple syrup and classic sage gives a gorgeous chestnut colour to the turkey and adds a touch of savoury sweetness. Round out the flavour with sweet, fruity and tangy Apple Whisky Chutney (recipe follows). The glaze does make the drippings sweeter than usual, so if you’re making gravy, add some dry white wine, lemon juice or vinegar to balance it out. Seek out a fresh turkey if possible, and make sure you’ve got a reliable meat thermometer to help cook it to moist perfection.

½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground pepper
½ small onion
2 sprigs fresh sage
¼ cup (60 mL) butter, melted


MAPLE SAGE GLAZE
½ cup (125 mL) pure maple syrup
1 tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar
½ tsp (2 mL) dry mustard
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) salt
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh sage

1 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

2 Remove any giblets and parts tucked in the cavity of the turkey and reserve for stock, if desired. Rinse turkey inside and out with cool running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place with the breast-side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Tuck wing tips under wings.

3 Sprinkle inside of cavity with a pinch each of the salt and pepper and insert onion and sage sprigs. Tie legs together. Combine remaining salt and pepper with butter and brush all over top and sides of turkey.

4 Roast turkey for 1 hour. Baste with any drippings. Lower the heat to 350°F (180°C) and roast for 30 minutes.

5 Meanwhile, make the glaze. Whisk together syrup, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil gently, without stirring, for 5 minutes or until bubbles slow somewhat and syrup is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool until bubbles subside. Stir in sage.

6 Brush about half of the glaze over turkey. Roast for 30 minutes. Spoon about 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the pan drippings into remaining glaze and stir until blended; brush over turkey. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes longer or until meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh reads 170°F (77°C). Transfer turkey to a cutting board and tent with foil for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with Apple Whisky Chutney on the side.

Serves 8 to 10

Sweet and tangy with an undertone of mellow whisky, this chutney complements the Maple Sage-Glazed Roast Turkey just perfectly. It’s also tasty with roast chicken or pork, or on a cheese and charcuterie platter. In fact, you might just want to make a double batch for the holiday season.

2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground pepper
3 cups (750 mL) diced, peeled tart cooking apples (Northern Spy, Empire, Crispin or Granny Smith)
½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) dry mustard
⅓ cup (80 mL) cider vinegar
¼ cup (60 mL) Canadian whisky (recipe developed with Forty Creek)
½ tsp (2 mL) chopped fresh thyme and/or sage

1 Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, salt and pepper; sauté for 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant.

2 Stir in apples, sugar, mustard, vinegar and whisky and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often, for about 25 minutes or until apples are translucent and chutney is slightly thickened (it will thicken more upon cooling). Stir in thyme or sage. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or transfer to a jar or airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Warm gently before serving.

Makes about 2 cups (500 mL)

What to Serve