Enjoy this Sage & Apple Brined Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner this year. This brined turkey is perfectly moist and flavoured with sage and apples – a quintessentially autumn flavour pairing.
Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner and like many of my fellow Canadians, I have turkey on my mind! Typically my parents host Thanksgiving dinner which is usually a nice big turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, and vegetables.
The first time my parents decided to go away for Thanksgiving I panicked a little. I wanted turkey but I didn’t know how to actually go about cooking a whole turkey. It honestly felt a little overwhelming to prepare a turkey dinner for the first time.
Some you probably have traditional dinners you create every year, but some of you might be in the position of making a turkey dinner for the first time.
Thankfully Canadian Turkey has all the help you need to prepare the perfect turkey dinner for your family with answers to the typical challenges you might face creating your perfect Thanksgiving meal with their whole bird how tos. For example, there is a Whole Bird Calculator that gives you everything you need to know to feed your family and friends. Simply input the number of people you’re cooking for, and the Calculator helps you estimate what size of whole bird you will need, thawing time, and cooking time.
It’s surprisingly simple to roast a whole turkey with their tips and easy-to-follow directions.
There is even a whole bunch of ideas in their recipe section for your leftovers. I usually buy a large bird just so I have leftovers to use for making turkey pies for the freezer. Perfect for dinner on busy week nights!
This year I decided to pick up a delicious 100% Canadian Turkey but put a spin on it using a different herb and flavour profile from the usual salt and pepper Turkey we usually do. Turkey is such a versatile protein, it tastes great with so many different flavours.
I decided to pair it with sage and apples – a flavour pairing that is simply perfect for autumn, don’t you think?
Of course, if you really prefer not to cook a whole bird, there is a large variety of turkey cuts at your local grocer that would work well for Thanksgiving dinner. My peach-glazed roasted turkey breast would make for a delicious thanksgiving dinner for two!
Turkey Farmers Care!
For 8 years in a row, Turkey Farmers of Canada, and its member organizations have donated to Food Banks Canada for the purchase of turkey by rural food banks at Thanksgiving. Just another great reason to go with 100% Canadian Turkey this year (and every year!)
My turkey skin got a little too dark as I got distracted from watching it for about 2 hours. Thankfully the turkey inside was still perfectly cooked and moist. Turkey is forgiving in that way when it’s brined, so don’t panic if you make the same mistake. Just garnish your turkey platter a little extra bit and everyone will still ooh and ahh all over your not-so-golden bird.
That said, follow my directions a little better than I did, and you will be serving up a beautifully golden turkey. Brining the turkey for 2 days before cooking results in an extra moist turkey that is perfectly seasoned every time.
Plus, with this sage and apple brined turkey you also get a savoury but subtly sweet turkey gravy. Just run the pan juices through a fine mesh sieve, mix together 2 tbsp of flour with cold water and then whisk into the pan juices over medium-high heat until it thickens. No need to add salt as you will find the gravy seasoned to perfection.
Sage & Apple Brined Turkey
READ FULL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE PREPARING.
8 Cups Apple Juice
1 bunch Fresh Thyme
8 Fresh Sage Sprigs, Divided
3 Bay Leaves
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
6 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled and Smashed
4 Cups Water
1 Whole Turkey, thawed
3 Yellow Onions, sliced
2 medium Royal Gala Apples
2 Tbsp Butter, melted
Ground Black Pepper
3 Cup Sodium Reduced Chicken Broth
Combine Apple juice, thyme, half of the sage sprigs, bay leaves, salt, sugar, pepper, garlic and water in a large saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often, until the salt and sugar dissolve. Set aside to cool.
Remove giblets and neck from turkey and discard.
Place turkey in a large stainless pot or a food-storage bag if you can find one big enough for your Turkey.
Pour the brine solution over the turkey, cover and refrigerate.
Chill 24 to 36 hours, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Rinse your turkey in cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.
Alternatively, if you have the time, let the turkey dry overnight in the fridge on a roasting rack set inside your roasting pan and cover loosely for crispier skin.
Arrange onions and remaining half of sage sprigs in a large roasting pan.
Place turkey, breast side up in pan and place apples inside the cavity.
Tie the ends of the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under.
Brush the turkey with the melted butter and sprinkle with pepper.
Pour the broth into the roasting pan.
Bake the turkey for 3.5 – 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh and breast reads over 165 degrees F, basting every 30 minutes with pan juice.
If the Turkey begins to brown excessively in spots, cover with aluminium foil.
Remove the Turkey from the oven and let rest 30 minutes before carving.
Sage & Apple Brined Turkey
- 8 Cups Apple Juice
- 1 bunch Fresh Thyme
- 8 Fresh Sage Sprigs, Divided
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 3/4 Salt
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
- 6 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled and Smashed
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Whole Turkey, thawed
- 3 Yellow Onions, sliced
- 2 medium Royal Gala Apples
- 2 Tbsp Butter, melted
- Ground Black Pepper
- 3 Cup Sodium Reduced Chicken Broth
- Combine Apple juice, thyme, half of the sage sprigs, bay leaves, salt, sugar, pepper, garlic and water in a large saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often, until the salt and sugar dissolve. Set aside to cool.
- Remove giblets and neck from turkey and discard.
- Place turkey in a large stainless pot or a food-storage bag if you can find one big enough for your Turkey.
- Pour the brine solution over the turkey, cover and refrigerate.
- Chill 24 to 36 hours, turning occasionally.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Rinse your turkey in cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.
- Alternatively, if you have the time, let the turkey dry overnight in the fridge on a roasting rack set inside your roasting pan and cover loosely for crispier skin.
- Arrange onions and remaining half of sage sprigs in a large roasting pan.
- Place turkey, breast side up in pan and place apples inside the cavity.
- Tie the ends of the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under.
- Brush the turkey with the melted butter and sprinkle with pepper.
- Pour the broth into the roasting pan.
- Bake the turkey for 3.5 - 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh and breast reads over 165 degrees F, basting every 30 minutes with pan juice.
- If the Turkey begins to brown excessively in spots, cover with aluminium foil.
- Remove the Turkey from the oven and let rest 30 minutes before carving.
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
Looking for more unique Thanksgiving solutions? Visit the Canadian Turkey site to find the perfect recipe and create your Thanksgiving tradition!
Connect with Turkey Farmers of Canada on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Disclosure: This post has been brought to you by Turkey Farmers of Canada, however all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.
Liz Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys cooking and baking, food photography, and reading.
Tuesday 20th of November 2018
Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I just finished preparing the brine and OMG!! the smell is A-Mazing. Just the perfect recipe for a wonderfully moist and delicous Thanksgiving turkey. We are using an oven roasting bag this year so we will brine, and then drain the bird before placing it in the oven bag.
Monday 19th of November 2018
3/4 of what for the salt
Tuesday 13th of November 2018
Is it 3/4 c of salt of teaspoon
Sunday 5th of May 2019
Tuesday 13th of November 2018
Haha I meant or teaspoon
Debbie White Beattie
Friday 22nd of September 2017
With the holidays just around the corner this recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving and I love how it has a lot of ingredients that I've never seen for roasting a turkey
Friday 7th of October 2016
Wow time is flying when you start seeing turkey recipes. I always make mine simple, this is a unique one, thank you for sharing. I will seep it in mind for sure!