Roast Turkey with Dried-Cherry Sauce

Roast Turkey with Dried-Cherry Sauce
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time:

  • Total Time:

    3h 30m
  • Servings:



Dried-cherry sauce spiked with port wine is a delicious alternative to traditional gravy.


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 Tbsp. mixed herbs, chopped (like rosemary, thyme and sage)
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • ½ cup off-dry or semi-dry port wine
  • 12 lb. turkey (giblets and neck removed), patted dry
  • 1 small onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 3 - 4 sprigs of assorted herbs
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 325°F. In a small bowl mix butter and chopped herbs; set aside. In a separate bowl mix cherries and port wine; set aside.
  2. Place turkey on rack in a roasting pan. Stuff cavity with onion, lemon, herbs and garlic. Rub butter mixture under and over the turkey skin. Generously season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven 3-4 hours, until internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh. If skin starts to get too brown, tent with foil.
  3. Remove from oven; pour pan juices into 2-quart sauce pan. Cover turkey with foil and allow to rest.
  4. Drain and reserve port from cherries.
  5. Place sauce pan over medium heat; add shallots and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Whisk in flour, cooking 3-4 minutes. Add reserved port, whisking to avoid lumps. Slowly whisk in 2 cups of chicken stock; add cherries and cook 5-10 minutes until thickened. Stir in parsley.
  6. Carve turkey and serve with cherry sauce. Refrigerate leftovers.


This is a great recipe to feature a port wine from a favorite local winery. Look for something semi-dry or off-dry to keep the sauce from getting too sweet.

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