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AW’s Sicilian Turkey

June 14, 2010

( first used Christmas 2004, and by far one of the MOISTEST turkeys I’ve had! )


  • 15 large Sicilian olives, pits intact
  • 15 cloves garlic, fresh without sprouts growing (sprouts make garlic bitter); smashed
  • 1 fiji apple, cored and quartered and skins removed
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 large yellow onion, skinned, quartered
  • cayenne pepper powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 14-16 pound turkey, neck & innards removed!!!
  • 1 magnum bottle of German Apple Wine (a must!!! And from Germany!!!)
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple (with juice)

1. After turkey is completely thawed, remove neck and innards (reserve for making dipping sauce). Wash turkey and pat dry. Salt and pepper the body cavity and neck cavity liberally.

2. Stuff the body cavity with apple quarters and some of the onions and celery and 5 of the Sicilian olives and 5 of the garlic cloves. Tie legs together to keep stuffing in place.

3. Stuff the neck cavity with 6 olives and 6 garlic cloves, some celery and onions. Pin the excess skin of the neck down to keep in the stuffing and trim off the excess.

4. Cut off the tips of the wings and save if you are going to make some sort of turkey stock.

5. Pin the wings against the turkey body.

6. Lightly coat the tops of the turkey body with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to lightly coat the body. Now add a generous covering of the cayenne pepper powder. This will help to bring a wonderful dark color to the skin as the turkey cooks.

7. Get a deep cooking pan and place a small rack in the middle that will keep the turkey about a ½ inch to 1 inch off the bottom of the pan. Place the turkey on the rack, breast side up.

8. Add one fourth of the German apple wine to the pan. Then add enough water to barely touch the bottom of the turkey. The wine will cook off quickly so you will need to add a little bit of the wine and more water each time you baste the turkey to keep in hydrated. Making sure each time that the liquid is just barely touching the bird.

9. Cook the turkey according to the directions that came with the bird.

10. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes. Slowly pouring the juice over the bird to keep from washing off all of the spices!!

11. When turkey has 2 hours left to cook, add pineapple chunks to the pan and some to the opening of the body cavity for additional flavoring.

12. When the turkey has 1 hour left to cook, take bird out and cover top of bird with butter making sure not to take off too much of that nicely browned spices on top. Adding the butter will help to bring a more fuller color to the skin and also to help make the skin crispy.

13. Once bird is cooked, set out on the countertop (still in the pan or you will have one heck of a mess to clean up!!) and let the bird sit for 30 minutes before carving. Letting the bird sit will let the bird rehydrate from that last hour of cooking and this process is essential in having a moist bird to eat!
While the bird is sitting, now make the turkey dipping sauce…

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 large sweet onions, diced extra-small
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of flour
  • 5 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of rosemary

1. In a large pan, brown up the turkey neck and innards. Don’t worry about the burnt pieces on the bottom of the pan – they add much-needed flavor to the sauce!! Once the pieces are cooked through, discard or save and eat later.

2. Lightly deglaze the pan by adding just a touch of white wine and then scrap the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula.

3. Add one stick of butter. Once butter has melted, add the onions and sauté until golden brown.

4. Add flour, thyme, rosemary, and vinegar and stir for 1 minute.

5. Add honey and stir for 1 minute more. Remove sauce from heat and let it sit.

6. This sauce gets better each time you reheat it! Do not reheat in the microwave!! Put in a saucepan and slowly heat up to desired temperature.

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