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Thanksgiving Feast – Part One: The Turkey with Sage Garlic Butter and Giblet Gravy


Hello All!  And welcome back to Food ~ Flavor ~ Fun!

A great place to find and share some great FREE food ideas, to be prepared and shared with family and friends, to bring a lot of fun, joy and great taste into all our lives.  Why?  ‘Cause few things in life beats a great tasting meal!  I’m so glad you have found your way here.  Welcome!  Welcome!  Welcome!

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With the Thanksgiving Holiday nearly upon us, I’m going to be doing a multiple day set of postings to provide all the info you’ll need to create a feast for your clan.  Today, we’ll be concentrating on the turkey.  In order to have a moist and well seasoned bird, you need to use a flavorful brine.  I then mix up a tasty butter that I put beneath the skin of the turkey to infuse even more flavor.  Then we’ll move on to making the gravy.  Tomorrow will be all the sides:  garlic mashed potatoes, toasted almond covered green beans, carrots for all times and forest mushroom and salami dressing.  Following will be the cranberries and desserts,  So, stayed plugged in!  Your going to want to catch this train!

Ok, lets talk turkey….as I said before, in order to have a moist and well seasoned bird, you need to use a flavorful brine.  The things that you will need to have is a large pot or clean bucket, a large cooler and a couple of bags of ice.  I use my crab and crawfish boil pot.  If you don’t have a pot that large, go by Home Depot or Lowes and get a brand new 5 gallon bucket. Wash and rinse thoroughly.  You don’t want a soapy turkey.

Brine for the Best Turkey


  • 1 gallon vegetable broth
  • 1 cup sea salt (don’t substitute table salt, it will make your turkey too salty!) 
  • 1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried savory
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 1 gallon ice water


Remember, don’t use table salt here.  If you use regular salt, your turkey will come out very salty.  Use sea salt. I know…I’ve done it!

In a large stock pot, combine the vegetable broth, wine, sea salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, and savory. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

When the broth mixture is cool, pour it into a clean 5 gallon bucket or large pot. Stir in the ice water.

Wash and dry your turkey. Make sure you have removed the innards, keep the turkey neck out and place the rest in a storage container and refrigerate. You’ll need those for the gravy.  Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine.  Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Drop the turkey neck in too.  Place the bucket in the refrigerator or cooler with ice overnight.

Remove the turkey carefully draining off the excess brine; rinse and pat dry. Discard the excess brine.

Turkey with Sage Garlic Butter and Giblet Gravy


  • brined turkey, rinsed and dried
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 3 cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

Make the butter in a food processor or mix it by hand.  Whirl the butter, sage and garlic until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Spread onions, celery, carrots, and garlic in the bottom of a 12 by 17-in. roasting pan. Put the turkey neck in on top of the veggies.

Set the turkey on a V-shaped rack.  Slide your fingers between the skin and the flesh of the bird to make pockets of space on the breast, back and leg areas.  Still using your fingers, slide about 1 tablespoon sage butter at a time under the skin in all pockets.  Place bird breast up on the rack. and place the rack in the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey, basting occasionally with pan drippings, until a meat thermometer inserted straight down through the thickest part of the breast registers 160° F.  (2 to 3 hours) Transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil.

Let rest in a warm place 15 to 30 minutes, then its ready to carve.

Giblet Gravy

Melt the remaining tablespoon butter with the olive oil in a medium heavy pot over medium-high heat.

Add the reserved giblets, cooked turkey neck, and cook, stirring, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add half of the vegetables from the roasting pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the white wine and stir to de-glaze the pan. Add the remaining 3 cups chicken stock and any juices accumulated in the roasting pan and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, add the sage, and simmer briskly until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the neck.

In batches, pulse the liquid and solids in a food processor into a thick liquid. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing against the solids with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible and transfer to a gravy boat.  Adjust the seasoning to taste.  Enjoy!

Would you like an easy setup for your appetizers?  Check out the great line up of gourmet items in the Shop or select one of the great gift baskets.  All these items are delivered right to your door.  Crack open the packages and your done.  Wow your guests with Blini, Creme Fraishe and Caviar.  And don’t forget to put the vodka in the freezer.  Chilled vodka is the right way to enjoy caviar.  Oh yes!

That’s it for day one of the feast!  Check back tomorrow when we’ll set you up for all the sides dishes.

I’d love to hear from you!  Please let me know how these recipes work for you by using the comment box below.  Or if you’d like, send me an email at foodflavorfun@foodflavorfun.com.

I hope you’ll come back often and try many of the great recipes available.  Tell you friends about the site!  Help me spread the word about Food ~ Flavor ~ Fun!

Bye for now!

Categories : Main Courses

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