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Roast Turkey

Low Fat Recipe

Roast up a tender 12 pound turkey covered with a delicious apple cider glaze that uses apple butter, brown sugar, Dijon, nutmeg and red and black peppers.

Roast Turkey


1 fresh or frozen whole turkey (12 pounds), thawed
1 medium apple, quartered
1 medium onion, quartered
1 bunch (1 ounce) parsley springs
2/3 cup apple butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1-1/4 teaspoons black pepper, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cans (10-1/2 ounces) low salt chicken broth
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup 1-percent low fat milk

Recipe Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove giblets and neck from turkey; discard, if desired. Rinse turkey thoroughly with cold water; pat dry. Tie ends of legs to tail with cord, or tuck flap of skin around tail. Lift wing tips up and over back and tuck under bird. Stuff cavities of turkey with quartered apple, onion and parsley sprigs.

Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine apple butter, sugar, mustard and nutmeg in a small bowl; stir well. Spread apple butter mixture under loosened skin and rub into the body cavity. Sprinkle bird with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper and ground red pepper. Pour broth and enough water to equal 3 cups liquid into the bottom of the pan.

Place turkey on a rack coated with cooking spray; place rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours or until thermometer reaches 160 degrees. Cover turkey loosely with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin. Remove turkey from pan, reserving 1-1/2 cups cooking liquid; reserve remaining cooking liquid for another use. Place turkey on a platter. Set aside; keep warm.

Pour reserved 1-1/2 cups cooking liquid into a zip-top plastic bag. Snip off 1 corner of bag; drain liquid into measuring cup, reserving 1 cup of broth and stopping before the fat layer reaches the opening. Drain fat layer into another bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons. Discard remaining fat. Combine reserved fat and flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until smooth. Stir in reserved 1 cup broth, cider and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 3 minutes, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly. Stir in remaining salt and black pepper. Serve gravy with skinned turkey.

Recipe Note

This recipe can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container for up to three weeks in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12 servings
Serving size: 6 ounces turkey and 2 tablespoons gravy
Calories: 372; Fat: 10g; Protein: 53.4g; Carbohdyrates: 13.4g; Fiber: 0.2g; Cholesterol: 130mg; Sodium: 524mg

Variation: Turkey with Country Ham Stuffing

A tender 12 pound turkey cooked with a delicious country style ham stuffing. Use whole wheat bread for half of the bread stuffing to pack an extra nutritional punch.

Turkey with Country Ham Stuffing

3 cups cubed crustless day old white bread
1-1/2 cups cubed, fully cooked lean ham
3 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
1-1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 12-pound turkey

Place bread cubes in a single layer in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Bake at 325-degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Place in a large bowl; set aside. In a large skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, cook ham until edges are crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and place over bread cubes. In the same skillet, saute the onion, celery, sage, thyme and pepper until vegetables are tender; toss with bread and ham. Stir in enough broth to moisten. Just before baking, stuff the turkey. Skewer openings; tie drumsticks together. Place on a rack in a roasting pan.

Bake at 325-degrees for 4 to 4-1/2 hours or until meat thermometer reads 185-degrees. When the turkey begins to brown, cover lightly with a tent of aluminum foil. Remove all stuffing.

Recipe Note

Stuffing may be baked in a 3-quart covered baking dish coated with nonstick spray at 325-degrees for 70 minutes (uncover the last ten minutes). Stuffing yields ten cups. Recipe makes 12 servings.

Nutrition information: Calories: 384; Fat: 11; Cholesterol: 137mg; Carbohydrate: 11g; Protein: 57g; Sodium: 426mg