Sauternes and Butter Glazed Turkey with Chestnut and Leek Dressing

25 October 2014

Serves 8



For the turkey and gravy:

13 -14 pound turkey

Kosher salt


1 small onion, peeled and quartered

1 lemon

2 small stalks celery, cut into 8 pieces

6 sprigs fresh thyme

3 bay leaves

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup Sauternes

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup chicken stock or broth

¼ cup flour

2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

For the chestnut and leek dressing:

6 medium leeks, green leaves removed

4 medium stalks celery

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

9 cups fresh bread crumbs (from 1 ½ pound loaf of brioche, pain de mie or white bread)

2 cups (about 10 ounces) roasted, peeled chestnuts, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried sage

1 cup chicken stock or broth

2 tablespoons lemon juice



The day before cooking, rinse and pat dry the turkey. Using salt and pepper, season over the outside and inside of the bird then refrigerate overnight.


The next day, remove the turkey two hours before roasting. Preheat the oven to 350° F (176 ° C). Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.


Place the onion, lemon, celery, thyme and bay leaves inside the cavity of the turkey and place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan.


In a small saucepan, combine one stick of butter, Sauternes, honey and chicken stock or broth. Cook over medium heat until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add one tablespoon of lemon juice.


Place the turkey in the oven and roast for one hour. Reduce the temperature to 325° F (163° C) and pour the basting liquid over the turkey. Then, baste the turkey every 30 minutes for another two hours or until a thermometer inserted into the meat of the thigh reads 175° F (80° C). If the skin is getting too dark or crispy and the liquid becomes too darken, loosely tent the turkey with foil, but continue the basting process. If using foil, remove the foil 30 minutes before the turkey is done to ensure a rich, golden brown skin.


Remove the turkey when fully cooked to a platter and keep it in a warm place. Pour the pan juices through a strainer into a large glass-measuring cup. Skim the fat off the top and place the liquid in a saucepan. You should have about a quart of sauce. If not, add enough chicken broth or stock to measure one quart. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the flame to simmer for 10 minutes.


In a small bowl, combine the remaining ½ stick of butter with the ¼ cup of flour. Blend together, with your fingers or a spatula, until the roux mixture is smooth and lump-free. Whisk the roux into the sauce, a tablespoonful at a time, then turn the heat back up to a medium boil. Cook another 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Add the remaining one tablespoon of lemon juice. Salt and pepper as needed.


Preparation for the chestnut and leek dressing:

Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Position a rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.


Melt the two sticks of butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and celery. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper.


Place the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Add the cooked leeks and celery, chestnuts, thyme and sage. Mix well. Drizzle the chicken stock or broth and lemon juice over the bread mixture and stir  until the dry ingredients are evenly moist.


Press lightly into the buttered baking dish and cook for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crusty.