- 1 (12-15) lb turkey
- 1/3 cup salt
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp pepper
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup turkey broth
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened and divided
- 4-5 sage leaves, minced
- 1 bundle fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup pork and poultry seasoning
- 1/3 cup honey, melted
- 2 yellow onions, quartered
- 5 carrots, roughly chopped
- 5 cloves garlic
- 6 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 3 stalks leek, roughly chopped
- 1/2 bundle thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 cups turkey broth, such as Better than Bouillon
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup white grape juice
- Pan Liquid
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup white grape juice
- 1 cup turkey broth
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 6 Tbsp flour
Fully defrost a (12-15 lb) turkey. Use gloved hands when handling turkey. Remove and set aside giblets. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Place turkey breast side down on a rimmed baking sheet and remove and set aside spine with a sharp pair of kitchen shears.
To make the brine/rub, combine salt, brown sugar, and pepper. Cover outside and underside of turkey. Keep on countertop for no more than 2 hours. (Chef’s Tip: The closer to room temperature your turkey is when you cook it, the easier it will be to inject and it will cook more evenly.) Rinse turkey in cool water and pat dry with paper towels.
Carefully separate turkey skin from meat on breasts and legs to create pockets. Pull skin away in a small section then use your fingers to slowly separate skin from meat until your hand fits easily under skin to bottom of bird. Repeat on other side and legs.
To make the injection mixture, combine honey, melted butter, white wine, and broth in a tall glass to make it easier to handle with syringe. Fill syringe and inject mixture directly into meat under skin in 3-4 places per leg and 5-6 places per breast until all of mixture is used, stirring mixture often. Don’t puncture skin.
In a bowl, combine ½ cup butter, sage, and thyme. After patting turkey dry with paper towels, place herb butter into pockets, spreading evenly. (Put about 2 tablespoons per breast and leg into pockets and spread butter out by pressing on outside of skin.)
Use remaining 1/2 cup butter to cover outside of skin, making sure to cover wings and bottom of legs. Sprinkle pork and poultry seasoning liberally over both sides of turkey. Set aside.
In a large foil roasting pan, place reserved giblets, turkey spine, onions, carrots, garlic, celery, and leek and sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Place foil pan with veggies under grate in a smoker. Replace grate over top of foil pan and bend sides if too tall. Pour turkey broth, wine, and grape juice over veggies.
This pan should never be less than 1/3 of liquid. As turkey cooks and liquid evaporates, add more pan liquid (1 cup each wine, grape juice, and turkey stock) every hour to veggie pan.
Set smoker to “smoke” with lid open for about 5 minutes to establish flame. Close lid and preheat to 425°.
Place turkey, breast side up, directly on grate and squarely over veggie pan. Lower temperature to 350° and cook for 2 hours 30 minutes or until internal temperature reads 135°. Turkey should be browned and skin should be decently crisp at this point.
Melt honey and brush liberally over turkey. Add any remaining liquid to veggie pan and cook for additional 30 minutes or until internal temperature hits 163° with an instant-read thermometer.
Carefully remove turkey from smoker, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and tent with foil. Turkey should be very golden, crispy on outside and juicy on inside. Let rest while making gravy.
To make the gravy, remove veggie pan from smoker and strain liquid into a clear measuring cup. Use a ladle to remove as much of fat layer as possible. There should about 5 cups of liquid.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter and flour to make a roux. Stir mix until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes. Slowly add strained liquid while whisking mixture constantly. Once all liquid is incorporated, turn heat to medium and simmer, stirring often, until it reaches desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey.