D'Artagnan's Roasted Wild Turkey with Apple Sausage Recipe

Ingredients

For the turkey:

  • 1 wild turkey, about 8-11 pounds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 small parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 whole juniper berries
  • 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sweet apple cider

For the apple-sausage stuffing: 

  •  ¾ cup dark raisins
  • 3 cups sweet apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 pound fresh fennel-spiced pork sausage, casing removed
  • 2 crisp, tart apples, such as gala or Granny Smith, peeled and diced
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves 
  • 4 cups cubes day-old sourdough bread
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock 

Since wild turkey's have leaner and firmer meat than conventional turkeys, it's important to know how to cook one properly so you don't end up with a dried-out bird. Follow D'Artagnan founder Ariane Daguin's tips on How to Cook a Wild Turkey to make sure this recipe comes out perfectly. 

Adapted from D'Artagnan. 

Directions

For the turkey:

The day before roasting, season turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Truss turkey with kitchen twine and refrigerate overnight. 

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Put carrots, celery, onion, parsnip, bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns, and juniper berries in a heavy roasting pan large enough to hold turkey. Rub turkey all over with 1½ tablespoons of the butter, then place on top of vegetables. 

Put turkey in oven, reduce heat to 325 degrees, and roast uncovered for 45 minutes, basting frequently with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour apple cider into pan and cover turkey loosely with aluminum foil. Continue roasting for 45 minutes more, basting every 15 minutes. About 40 minutes before turkey is done roasting, put stuffing in oven. 

Uncover turkey and roast 10–15 minutes to brown skin further. Drumsticks should move easily in the sockets, and meat should measure 180–185 degrees, when a thermometer is inserted into deepest part of thigh. Do not overcook. Transfer turkey to serving platter and cover with foil. 

For the apple-sausage stuffing:

Combine raisins and apple cider in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to plump. 

Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add celery and onion and cook until vegetables have softened, about 5–7 minutes. Add sausage to vegetables. Sauté until meat is well browned, about 5 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break up meat into small pieces. Stir in apples and sage, and sauté 5 minutes. 

Stir in bread cubes. Season with salt and pepper, then add cider and raisins. Bring liquid to a boil, cover, and bake for 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove cover, stir, and serve. 

For the gravy:

Pour off excess fat from roasting pan, leaving cider and pan drippings. Place pan over medium heat and stir in flour. Cook flour 3–4 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until gravy is thickened, about 10–15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then strain into a bowl, and serve with turkey and dressing. 

 

Click here to see the How to Cook a Wild Turkey story.

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