Champagne Turkey

This recipe offers the flavor of a traditional oven-baked turkey with a mild sweet gravy from the added champagne. It also gives you the versatility to control the amount of smoky flavor you want by adjusting the amount of time the turkey is uncovered at the beginning and end of the cooking time.
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Prep Time 1 hour
Category Entree
Grill Used Kamado Joe
Cook Time Unknown
Meat Poultry, Turkey


1 fresh or thawed frozen turkey
1 bottle inexpensive champagne
4 Sprigs of fresh thyme (leaves only, finely chopped)
4 Sprigs of fresh rosemary (leaves only, finely chopped)
6 leaves sage (finely chopped)
1 lemon (juiced)
1 onion (chopped)
2 carrots (chopped)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1 red apple (cored, sliced)
1 can (14.5 ounce) chicken broth
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 stick softened butter (optional)
1/2 cup white flour


Preparation Instructions
1. Combine the thyme, rosemary, sage and lemon juice in a bowl. Add a small amount of olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.
2. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey, rinse the turkey and pat dry inside and out. If the turkey does not have giblets in the cavity, check the neck area. Rub the cavity of the turkey with the herb mixture and stuff it with the onion, carrots, celery and apple pieces.
3. Place long sheets of aluminum foil in an aluminum roasting pan that will be able to fully cover the turkey and contain the liquid. Place the turkey in the pan. Run your hand gently between the breast meat and the skin to separate them. This will help promote crispier skin.
4. Pour the chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour half of the champagne in the cavity of the turkey and allow the excess to run into the chicken broth. Place the neck and giblets in the pan if you plan to serve them or use them for the gravy.

Roasting Instructions
1. Light the charcoal in one area. Wait 10 minutes, then place two wood chunks (optional) on top of the lit area. Insert the heat deflector with the plate in the bottom position. Insert the cooking grate and place the uncovered turkey in the grill. Insert the temperature probe into the base of the breast (optional), or cook on time using 15 minutes per pound. Pierce the breast when the time has elapsed to ensure that the juices are clear.
2. Adjust the draft door and top vent to one quarter open. Allow the temperature to rise slowly to a target temperature of 325F (165C). It should take 30-45 minutes. This will allow the turkey to absorb the smoke from the wood and charcoal, because a cold turkey absorbs smoke faster than a warm one. Adjust the time the turkey is uncovered to raise or lower the amount of smoky flavor that will be infused.
3. Seal the turkey in the aluminum foil without the foil touching the skin. Allow the turkey to cook until the internal temperature reaches 130F (55C). Uncover the turkey and pull the foil away as much as possible or tear it away to allow the skin to brown.
4. Baste the turkey with softened butter or olive oil. Check after 30 minutes and add more champagne to the pan if needed.
5. Allow the turkey breast to reach an internal temperature of 160F (71C). This should take 1 hour or more. Remove the turkey from the grill, place it on a cutting board, lightly cover with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Champagne Gravy Instructions
1. Place the flour in a measuring cup. Whisk thoroughly adding small amounts of water until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter.
2. Pour the drippings in a sauce pan and heat on medium. Add small amounts of the flour mixture and stir rapidly into the drippings to thicken them. Salt and pepper to taste. Optional: remove the meat from the neck and finely chop with the giblets, and add to the gravy.

Submitted By: D. Schultz, Auburn, GA Website:
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