Orange and Molasses-Glazed Turkey with Sherried Pan Gravy Recipe

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Orange and molasses give this turkey a beautiful sheen, but their real strength is in flavoring the pan dripping's, which become the aromatic base for a wonderful gravy.

Early settlers brined meats as a way of tenderizing and preserving, but today we use brining as a terrific method for ensuring tender, moist and juicy turkey. Brining isn't hard to do and the results are outstanding. Instead of stuffing the turkey, the flavorful dressing is cooked alongside.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 8


Cost per serving $11.73 view details


  1. For Brine: Combine all brine ingredients in medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from heat; cool completely. (Brine can be made 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
  2. Place turkey in large kettle or bucket. Pour brine over turkey; add enough water to cover turkey. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or up to 12 hours. Remove turkey from brine; discard brine. Rinse turkey thoroughly under cold water to remove all salt and sugar. Pat dry.
  3. For Turkey: With fingers, carefully loosen skin on turkey breast. Insert 8 whole sage leaves and 6 orange slices under skin in breast area; place remaining sage and orange slices in turkey cavity. Rub skin with 1 tablespoon of the butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Heat oven to 400ºF. Place turkey, breast-side up, on rack in roasting pan. Add 1 cup water to pan. Bake 45 minutes; baste with pan juices. Reduce oven temperature to 325ºF; bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until internal temperature reaches 180ºF.
  5. For Glaze: Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 tablespoons butter, molasses and vinegar in small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Brush turkey with molasses glaze 3 or 4 times during last 45 minutes of baking. Place turkey on carving board or platter; let stand 20 minutes before carving.
  6. For Gravy: While turkey is baking, place giblets (but not liver), 7 cups water, celery, onion and carrot in medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 45 minutes. Remove from heat; cool giblets and vegetables in broth. Strain broth, reserving for gravy (discard giblets and vegetables).
  7. When turkey is done baking, pour pan dripping's into measuring cup; let stand a few minutes until fat rises to top. Skim fat, placing 7 tablespoons in roasting pan (discard remaining fat; reserve pan dripping's). Whisk in flour to make a paste. Place pan over 2 stove top burners set to medium heat; whisk 1 minute or until flour mixture colors slightly. Whisk in reserved pan dripping's, reserved turkey broth and sherry. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until gravy is thickened, bubbly and smooth, whisking constantly. Whisk in 1/8 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.
  8. Carve turkey. Whisk any juices from carving board into gravy; serve with turkey.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 1058g
Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 869  
Calories from Fat 181 21%
Total Fat 20.21g 25%
Saturated Fat 8.11g 32%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 357mg 119%
Sodium 29365mg 1224%
Potassium 1804mg 52%
Total Carbs 44.68g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3.0g 10%
Sugars 32.62g 22%
Protein 117.51g 188%
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