Why not start a new tradition by glazing your turkey with a sweet and tart pomegranate glaze. Leftovers may not happen (sorry to those turkey sandwich lovers), but if they do, substitute Skylake Ranch Pomegranate Fruit Spread for cranberry sauce.
3 cups Skylake Ranch Pomegranate Juice
½ cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped; if fresh rosemary is unavailable, substitute 1 teaspoon dried
1 turkey, 14 pounds (giblets removed), rinsed and patted dry, room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons pepper
3 sprigs each fresh parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme; if fresh herbs are unavailable, substitute 1 teaspoon
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 carrots, rinsed, peeled, ends trimmed, cut into 4 pieces
2 celery stalks, rinsed, peeled, ends trimmed, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Optional: Additional sprigs of fresh herbs for garnish
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, with baking rack on lowest level.
In a 1 ½-quart saucepan over medium high heat, whisk together all the ingredients for the pomegranate glaze — Skylake Ranch Pomegranate Juice, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, brown sugar and rosemary—and bring to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally until mixture has been reduced by half (about 15 minutes). Pour 1 cup of the liquid into a small bowl. You’ll use this to baste the turkey.
Continue boiling remaining liquid in saucepan for another 10 minutes. There should be ½ to ¾ cups left. Set aside. This reduced liquid will be used to finish the gravy.
Sprinkle salt and pepper inside turkey cavity. Place parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and two onion quarters inside turkey cavity. Tie turkey legs together with cotton butcher’s string. Rub softened butter all over turkey skin and place turkey on roasting rack in a 12 ½-by-16-by-3-inch or larger roasting pan, tucking wings and loose neck skin under turkey.
Roast turkey for 30 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit and then reduce heat to 325. Add remaining onion, carrots, celery and chicken broth to roasting pan. Using a pastry brush, baste turkey with the pomegranate glaze from the bowl. Loosely cover turkey, tenting with aluminum foil.
As turkey roasts, baste every 30 minutes with glaze. The turkey will be done when a meat thermometer (inserted deep into the turkey thigh and away from the bone) reads 170 degrees F. Start checking temperature after 3 ½ hours and then every 20 minutes thereafter until turkey is done. Turkey will have a deep mahogany color from the glaze. Carefully remove turkey from roasting pan to a cutting board and let rest 30 minutes to absorb juices.
While turkey is resting, remove the roasting rack and pour off all but 2 Tablespoons of liquid from the roasting pan and place roasting pan across 2 burners on stove. To make gravy, add chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, scraping browned bits from pan with wooden spoon or spatula. Whisk flour into pomegranate glaze from step 3 until dissolved. Mixture will be thick. Whisking constantly, add this mixture to roasting pan until sauce thickens and coats back of wooden spoon. Strain though fine mesh sieve over a medium size bowl, pressing on solids. Gravy will be very dark from pomegranate juice and will thicken a bit more as it cools. Pour strained liquid into gravy boat to serve. Makes about 3 to 3½ cups.
Place finished turkey on serving platter and garnish with sprigs of fresh herbs and pomegranates halved for presentation. Carve turkey and serve with gravy.
If turkey skin begins to get too dark or starts to burn (this can happen on the breast, front of turkey, legs and wings), cover that area directly with strips of foil.
The turkey is done when a meat thermometer placed in the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The turkey continues to cook while resting, outside the oven. The temperature will rise to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
If using a larger turkey, allow an extra 20 minutes per pound for roasting, checking 1 hour before it should be done.