This Pomegranate Turkey uses pomegranate molasses as a glaze to lend a depth of flavor that many roast turkey glazes lack. The pan juices for the sauce are infused with pomegranate too..
I wish I had discovered pomegranate molasses years ago!
I was casting about for something a bit different in the turkey department. Was I delighted when I stumbled on pomegranate molasses in a Middle Eastern grocery store just in time for the holiday dinner! (More to come on the other fun things I found in that grocery store!) You can get it often in the International section of your grocery store as well. Food Basics have it for sure.
I combined a recipe from Bon Appetit and one from Eating Well to arrive at my final glazed turkey method. One of the big differences is that I changed the roasting approach to low and slow -much lower than Bon Appetit recipe called for. I am glad I did because as you can see my turkey took on a lovely mahogany sheen but a few areas appear burned (although they didn't taste that way). I covered the turkey loosely with foil after an hour and I think I could have covered it 15 or 20 minutes earlier. It did continue to brown even under the loose foil.
I stuffed my turkey with this Italian inspired Corn Bread Dressing which I love and it went wonderfully with these flavors.
I also served baby roasted potatoes. No secret to them except I cooked them 4 minutes in my (beloved!) pressure cooker early in the day, glazed them with melted duck fat and then browned them in the oven for 30 minutes before serving.
Same with the carrots. I cleaned and cut them into 4 " lengths and cooked them in the pressure cooker for 6 minutes early in the day. Then I reheated them in the oven with the Saged Brown Butter. For that I melted ¼ cup butter in a skillet and heated it over medium heat til the milk solids turn nutty brown. Then I added in about 8 sage leaves finely chopped and cooked about 3 minutes more. Drizzle this over the carrots when it is time to reheat them.
I also served Root Vegetable Timbales that I had made and frozen a few weeks before. I reheated them along with the potatoes and carrots while the turkey was tented. There is also Sage brown butter in the timbales so the flavors were consistent and complimentary.
I served an Alsatian Pinot Gris Baron de Hoen Réserve Pinot Gris 2014 which was a marriage made in heaven!
A an unoaked Chardonnay, an aged Riesling, a Soave or white Granache would also work.
For red look for a Rhone GSM, Merlot or Shiraz.
Roast Turkey with Pomegranate Glaze
- 6 cups water
- 1 celery stalk cut into 4 pieces
- 1 carrot peeled and cut into 4 pieces
- 1 onion rough chopped
- giblets neck, heart, gizzard
- 3 Tbsps butter added to final sauce
- 1 cup orange juice
- ½ cup pomegranate molasses (not juice)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Corn Bread Dressing
- 1 recipe Corn Bread Dressing If not using then quarter 1 lemon and 1 onion for body cavity
- 12 lb turkey
- 2 cups gravy base from above reserve remainder for the finishing sauce
- Combine all gravy base ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer one hour. Strain out solids saving the broth. Return the broth to the stove to and continue to simmer til reduced to about 3 cups. (I let mine simmer the whole time the turkey was roasting- about 4 hours)
- Whisk all glaze ingredients in a cup.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Rinse turkey inside and out. Pat dry. Place turkey on its back on a rack inside your roasting pan, Gently separate the skin from the meat on the chest and thigh area by slipping your hands between the skin and meat and massaging.
- Stuff the body and neck cavities with the dressing. Secure the openings with skewers to hold the dressing in place. Tie the legs loosely together and tuck wings under.
- With a pastry brush, slather glaze under the skin in the breast and thigh areas. Brush outside turkey with glaze.
- Pour 1 cup of gravy base in the bottom of the pan.
- Place roasting pan with turkey in the oven. You may have to remove the upper rack to make your turkey fit,
- Baste turkey with the glaze every 20 minutes during first hour and a half (until glaze is finished.) After 1 hour add another cup of giblet stock to the bottom of the pan and loosely shield turkey with foil. Watch during first hour -if any part of turkey gets excessively dark shield with foil immediately.
- Use 20 minutes per pound as a guideline for roasting time. A 10-12 lb turkey stuffed should take about 4 hours. Check internal temperature by inserting meat thermometer into thickest part of the thigh. Be careful not to touch a bone. When internal temperature reaches 175 degrees remove turkey from oven and tent with foil for 30 minutes more. Turkey will continue to increase in temperature by 5-10 degrees.
- After tenting time is done, remove stuffing immediately and transfer to a casserole or serving dish. Transfer turkey to carving or serving platter.
- Pour the juices in the bottom of the roasting pan into a heat proof measuring cup. Spoon fat off the top of the roasting pan juices. Return juice to the roasting pan, add one cup of the giblet stock and simmer over 2 burners, scraping up an browned bits from the bottom of the roasting pan. (Reserve any remaining giblet stock to use in soups).
- Add 3 Tbsps of butter to the simmering sauce ( I used duck fat I had on hand) and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.