Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter and Marsala Sauce
Preparation
40 MIN
Cooking
3 H
Marinating
2 DAYS
Servings
20

Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter and Marsala Sauce

Ingredients

    Turkey

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder
  • 1 fresh or thawed turkey, about 20 lbs (9 kg)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chicken broth

    Sage Butter

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh sage

    Marsala Sauce

  • 2 cups (500 ml) chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) Marsala wine (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • Celery salt and black pepper

Preparation

Turkey

  1. In a bowl, combine the salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. Place the turkey, breast side up, in a large glass dish. With your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the breast and thighs of the turkey without tearing it. Sprinkle the cavity of the turkey with 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of the salt mixture. Sprinkle the remaining salt mixture over the breast and thighs of the turkey. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two days.
  3. With the rack in the lowest position, preheat the oven to 220 °C (425 °F).

Sage Butter

  1. In a bowl, combine the butter and sage. Set aside.
  2. In large roasting pan with a wire rack, place the turkey, breast side up. Spread the sage butter evenly under the skin. Pour the broth into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 165 °C (325 °F). Continue roasting for about 2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh without touching the bone, reads 82 °C (180 °F). Place the turkey on a serving platter and let rest for about 30 minutes without covering with foil.

Marsala Sauce

  1. In a bowl, combine the turkey cooking juices with the broth to make 1 litre (4 cups). Add broth, if needed.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, Marsala, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Simmer for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the turkey with the sauce.

Note

We roasted the turkey in a stainless steel roasting pan. If you use another type of roaster, see "All about turkey" on page 39 to adjust the cooking time.

For the turkey, we used baking powder for its tenderizing effect on the meat. It also dries the skin, making it crispier. We suggest using unsalted butter because the turkey is salt brined.

Marsala is an Italian fortified wine, that is to say that alcohol is added during fermentation. It has a slightly sweet taste. If you do not have marsala, you can replace it with the same amount of white wine or 60 ml (¼ cup) brandy.