Apples and Sage are quintessential holiday flavors and pair beautifully with turkey. We created a glaze to add layers of deliciousness to our turkey. The challenge was to achieve this without using butter, in order to accommodate some of our guests who were unable to consume dairy.
We reduced apples and onions with a few other secret ingredients to create a blast of flavor and received rave reviews, some even stated it was the best turkey they had ever tasted. Of course it would not hurt one bit to make a compound butter by mixing dried or fresh sage and unsalted butter to rub under the skin to enrich the drippings and enhance the gravy.
Another detail to note is that we grilled, smoked and roasted the turkey on our EVO Professional Grill. We gave this process a fair amount of thought and received some great tips from Chef Adam Zwerling from EVO America. First he suggested that we elevate the turkey on a rack to promote golden caramelized skin and prevent burning. We thought this was a great idea but what about the yummy drippings for our Applewood Bacon-Sage Gravy? I pondered this dilemma and wondered if the round grill rack would hold my 15 lb turkey and fit into my favorite 22″ paella pan, to catch the drippings. To my delight it was a perfect fit and even left room to add some olive oil coated garlic bulbs to roast along side.
Now that we had the correct set up to place on the grill, it was clear that we would be using indirect heat, so the question still remained how were we going to brown it? Adam felt it was crucial to create enough heat convection room for roasting and smoking. Unfortunately the EVO’s hood/lid was not tall enough to accommodate our turkey-rack set up, so again at Adam’s suggestion we purchased an inexpensive galvanized wash tub to use as a hood thus creating an oven for the roasting part. We decided to completely wrap the tub in foil to keep it clean and free of any grease splatter, which would allow us to use it as an beverage cooler later. Using heavy duty foil also allowed us to easily create a wrap around handle that we looped into the the light weight tub making it easy to pull the hood on and off.
We had a bit of extra room under the hood so we added a can of apple wood chips to create smoky flavor, complimenting the Spiced Apple Brine that we used, Apple Sage Glaze (recipe below) and the Applewood Bacon-Sage Gravy.