Sage Butter Turkey with Shallot Sausage Stuffing

Whole fresh sage leaves tucked under the skin show through when the skin turns translucent, golden and crisp.

 Because of its intensity, dried sage is best for the Sage Butter.



1 turkey, (about 16 lb/7.2 kg)
10 fresh sage leaves
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper

2 tbsp (25 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (500 mL) quartered shallots
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
4 mild Italian sausages, (about 1 lb/500 g)
12 cups (2.8 L) cubed day-old Italian bread or French bread
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1-1/4 cup (300 mL) sodium-reduced chicken stock

Sage Butter:
1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, softened
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon rind
1 tbsp (15 mL) crumbled dried sage
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper

1/3 cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500 mL) sodium-reduced chicken stock
1 tbsp (15 mL) wine vinegar


Stuffing: In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; fry shallots, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, about 10 minutes. Add celery, garlic, sage, thyme, salt and pepper; fry until celery is softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.

Remove sausages from casings. In same skillet, fry sausages over medium-high heat, breaking up with spoon, until crumbled and browned, about 5 minutes. Drain off fat. Add to shallot mixture along with bread and parsley; drizzle with stock and toss to combine. Let cool. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Sage Butter: In small bowl, mix together butter, garlic, shallot, lemon rind, sage, salt and pepper; set aside.

Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for stock, if desired. Pat turkey dry inside and out. Place turkey, breast side up, on work surface. Using fingers, carefully loosen skin over breasts and thighs. Spread half of the sage butter under skin to cover breasts and thighs. Insert sage leaves under skin.

Loosely stuff neck and body cavities with about 6 cups (1.5 L) of the stuffing. Skewer cavities shut. Tie legs together; tuck wings under back. Place on rack in roasting pan. Spread remaining sage butter over skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place remaining stuffing in greased 11- x 7-inch (2 L) glass baking dish; cover and refrigerate.

Tent with foil, tucking in sides but leaving ends open. Roast in 325°F (160°C) oven for 3 hours. Uncover and roast until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 185°F (85°C), 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Transfer to carving board and tent with foil; let stand for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, increase heat to 400°F (200°C). Bake stuffing in dish for 20 minutes; uncover and bake until top is crisp, about 10 minutes.

Gravy: Meanwhile, skim fat from pan juices. Whisk in flour; cook, stirring, over medium heat for 1 minute. Whisk in stock and vinegar; bring to boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 8 minutes. Strain into warmed gravy boat. Serve with turkey and stuffing.

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Servings: 16

Nutritional Info

approx. per serving

  • calcal
  • pro67 g
  • total fat26 g
  • sat. fat9 g
  • carb19 g
  • fibre1 g
  • chol183 m
  • sodium892 m
  • %RDI
  • calcium9%
  • iron38%
  • vit A7%
  • vit C5%
  • folate24%