Lady apples - small, hard winter apple that is yellow with a reddish cheek - are often used decoratively but we love them for their flavor. Their widely available in markets this time of year. Said to be one of the oldest known apple varieties, they originated in the Forest of Api, France, during medieval times.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Neck and giblets (excluding liver) from turkey
- 1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, quartered
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 (12 pound) turkey (preferably kosher), feathers removed if necessary and neck and giblets (excluding liver) reserved for making stock
- 1 pound pearl onions (preferably red)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 pounds (2-inch) Lady apples
- Pan juices from roast turkey
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Fried sage leaves
- Turkey giblet stock: Heat oil in a 3-quart saucepan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown neck and giblets. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until reduced to about 4 cups, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Pour stock through a fine sieve into a bowl. Skim off and discard any fat.
- Roast turkey: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper inside and out. Fold neck skin under body and secure with a small skewer. Tie drumsticks together with kitchen string and secure wings to body with small skewers.
- Put turkey on a rack set in a large flameproof roasting pan. Roast turkey in middle of oven 30 minutes.
- While turkey is roasting, blanch onions in boiling water 1 minute and rinse under cold water. Peel onions, then toss with 1 tablespoon melted butter and salt and pepper to taste. Toss apples with 1 tablespoon melted butter and salt and pepper to taste in another bowl.
- Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. Brush remaining 1/4 cup melted butter over turkey and roast 30 minutes more.
- Baste turkey and scatter onions around it, then roast 30 minutes more.
- Baste turkey and add apples to roasting pan. Roast another 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into fleshy part of a thigh registers 180 degrees F.
- Transfer turkey, onions, and apples to a heated platter, leaving juices in pan. Remove skewers and discard string. Let turkey stand at least 30 minutes, up to 45.
- Make gravy while turkey stands: Skim fat from pan juices and reserve 1/4 cup fat. Pour pan juices into a 2-quart glass measure and add enough turkey giblet stock to make 4 1/2 cups total. Set pan to straddle 2 burners. Add 1 cup stock mixture and deglaze by boiling over moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits. Add remaining 3 1/2 cups stock mixture, cider, and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Transfer to glass measure.
- Whisk together reserved fat and flour in a large heavy saucepan and cook roux over moderately low heat, whisking, 3 minutes. Add hot stock mixture in a fast stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, then simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in any additional turkey juices from platter and season gravy with salt and pepper. Pour gravy through a fine sieve into a gravy boat.
Yield: 8 servings
NUTRITION INFO per serving:
- Calories: 1376 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 35 g
- Dietary Fiber: 4 g
- Fat: 71 g
- Protein: 139 g
- Sugars: 20 g
Giblet stock can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered.
Onions can be blanched and peeled 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.
We recommend making the turkey giblet stock and fried sage leaves ahead, though they can be prepared while the turkey is in the oven.