Rosemary-orange turkey with brandied gravy

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25 min


10 to 12 servings

* PLUS Standing Time: 15 minutes, Roasting Time: 4 minutes


  • 1/2 cup butter , at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary , or 1 tbsp dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 to 8 kg turkey
  • Savoury Fruit Stuffing , or 12 cups stuffing


  • In a small bowl, stir butter with rosemary, juice concentrate and salt. If not using right away, form into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. It will keep well in the refrigerator up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.
  • Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Remove neck and bag of giblets from inside of turkey. Use for Brandied Gravy (recipe, below). Rinse bird inside and out under cold running water. Pat dry. Place in a roasting pan breast side down. Fill neck cavity with stuffing. Don’t overpack, as stuffing expands as it cooks. Bring neck skin up over back. Fasten with skewers or sew shut. Turn breast side up. Generously stuff body cavity. Don’t overpack. Fasten with skewers or sew shut, or cover opening with a piece of foil so basting juices won’t make stuffing soggy. Tuck wing tips under bird. Tie legs together or tuck under skin flap. Rub half of rosemary butter over skin. Cover bird with a tent of foil. Seal to pan edges.
  • Roast in centre of preheated oven 2 hours. Then remove foil and baste turkey with pan juices. Brush with remaining rosemary butter. Continue to roast, uncovered and basting occasionally with pan juices, until drumstick moves easily in joint and a meat thermometer inserted into thigh reads 180F (80C). This will take 2 to 3-1/4 more hours, or a total of 20 minutes per pound (500 g). If turkey browns too quickly in one area, cover with a piece of foil. Remove bird to a cutting board. Cover with foil. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 809,
  • Protein
  • 70.3 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 38.8 g,
  • Fat
  • 40.1 g,
  • Fibre
  • 3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 993 mg.

Turkey is a much-loved holiday classic that doesn’t require a lot of fancy trimmings to make it a star, but you can add zing and turn the skin crispy with a rosemary-orange rub.

Brandied Gravy

While turkey is roasting, make a giblet broth. Coarsely chop giblets, then place with neck in a saucepan. Add 2 cups (500 mL) water, a chopped onion and 3 bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes. Strain and save liquid. Once turkey is removed from pan, skim off fat floating on pan juices. Place pan over 2 burners on medium heat or pour liquid into a medium-size saucepan over medium-high. Bring to a boil. Whisking constantly, sift 1/4 cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour into pan juices. Whisk until smooth and thick. Then whisk in giblet broth or 2 cups (500 mL) chicken broth. For a luxurious taste, add 1/3 cup (75 mL) brandy or orange-flavoured liqueur. Reduce heat to medium. Stir frequently, uncovered, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 more minutes. Add pinches of salt and pepper, if needed. Makes about 3-1/2 cups (875 mL)