Honey-Glazed Turkey with Sage and Roasted Garlic

Mains, Recipes, Thanksgiving

Honey-Glazed Turkey with Sage and Roasted Garlic

Happy Thanksgiving! If you haven’t already popped your turkey in the oven, consider making this version, in which a sweet-and-savory glaze enhances the bird’s flavor and helps the skin to brown and crisp beautifully. Even if you haven’t brined your turkey overnight, it will still be delicious.


Honey-Glazed Turkey with Sage and Roasted Garlic


1 jar turkey brine (optional)

1 turkey, 12 to 16 lb. (6 to 8 kg), neck and giblets removed, reserved if desired

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 fresh rosemary sprigs

4 garlic cloves, peeled

1 lemon, halved

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 to 8 fresh sage leaves


For the glaze:

1 cup (12 oz./375 g) honey

8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, grated

2 tsp. minced fresh sage

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Prepare the turkey brine and brine the turkey according to the package instructions. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. If you did not brine the turkey, remove it from the refrigerator. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour.


Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).


Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the rosemary, garlic cloves and lemon halves inside the body cavity. If desired, truss the turkey with kitchen twine. Spread the butter over the turkey breast and under the skin, then slide the sage leaves under the skin. Transfer to the oven.


Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey and butter and heat, stirring occasionally, until melted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the grated garlic and sage, and season with salt and pepper.


After 1 hour of roasting, begin brushing the turkey with the glaze. Continue roasting, brushing with glaze every 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, away from the bone, registers 165°F (74°C), and inserted into the thigh registers 175°F (80°C), 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 hours more. If the breast begins to brown too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. Total roasting time should be 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.


Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for about 20 minutes. Carve and serve with the gravy alongside. Serves 12.


Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen


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Honey-Glazed Turkey with Sage and Roasted Garlic
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7 comments about “Honey-Glazed Turkey with Sage and Roasted Garlic

  1. Mitch

    This is my favorite turkey I’ve ever made. I did it with two boneless breasts instead of a whole turkey, and convection oven instead of standard. The glaze was just sweet enough and so crunchy on the outside.

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