Roasted Turkey with Figs and Muscat Gravy

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 3h 30m

Serves 20

The turkey, stuffing, and gravy all rely on the characteristic flavor of Muscat. When Lydia cooks birds, especially big birds and wild birds, she uses a richly flavored seasoned butter and an injector to keep the breast and leg meat moist.


  • For the Muscat Butter:
  • 1 cup Muscat wine
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chile, halved
  • Salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • For the Turkey:
  • One (20-pound) fresh turkey at room temperature, neck and giblets reserved for stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Anadama Bread and Fig Stuffing with Celery and Cracklings (see recipe)
  • 10 boiling onions, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 20 moist and plump dried black Mission figs, steeped in 2 cups of Muscat for 10 minutes
  • Thyme sprigs and sage leaves
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 fresh fig or grape leaves or rinsed brined grape leaves
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups Rich Turkey Stock (see recipe), plus reserved giblets
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Companion recipe: Anadama Bread and Fig Stuffing with Celery and Cracklings Rich Turkey Stock


In a small saucepan, simmer the Muscat with the sage

leaves, chile and a large pinch of salt until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain into a heatproof bowl. Let cool slightly, then whisk in the butter. Fill an injector with the Muscat butter.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Wipe the turkey completely dry and season it well inside and out with salt and pepper. Fill the central cavity with about 6 cups of the stuffing; seal the cavity with bamboo skewers. Fill the neck cavity with about 3 cups of the stuffing, cover with the skin and skewer shut. Put the remaining stuffing in a large baking dish and set aside.

Inject the Muscat butter deep into the thighs and breast of the turkey. Put the bird in a large roasting bag and set it in a large roasting pan. Scatter the onions around the turkey in the bag and add the steeped figs and their liquid, the thyme and the sage. Pour 6 tablespoons of the melted butter over the turkey breast. Dip the fig leaves in the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter and press them onto the bird. Seal the bag.

Roast the turkey for about 3 hours, or until it is just cooked through. About 25 minutes before the turkey is done, bake the dish of stuffing until heated through.

Remove the turkey from the oven and open the bag carefully; there will be a lot of accumulated juices in it. Transfer the turkey, onions, and figs to a platter; cover loosely with foil and keep warm.

Pour all the pan juices into a large saucepan and skim off the fat. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Put the flour in a medium bowl and gradually whisk in the Rich Turkey Stock until smooth. Whisk this slurry into the juices in the saucepan and simmer, whisking frequently, until thickened. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the gravy until flavorful, about 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and reserved giblets and season with salt and pepper. Carve the turkey at the table and serve warm, with the stuffing and gravy.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 1759

nutrition information per serving

735 calories; 23g total fat; 330mg cholesterol; 436mg sodium; 23g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 102g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

Sign Up for Newsletters Here

Delicious recipes, easy meal ideas and holiday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.