Mayo Clinic Health Library

Recipe: Herb-rubbed turkey au jus

Updated: 10-20-2012

Dietitian's tip: Instead of adding butter to the turkey and serving it with gravy, this healthy version is complemented with an herbal rub and a flavorful au jus.

Ingredients

Serves: 10

For the rub

  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 whole turkey (about 15 pounds), thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water

For the au jus

  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup defatted pan drippings

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

In a small bowl, combine the sage, thyme and parsley to make the rub. Mix well and set aside.

Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and discard. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels.

Starting at the neck area, insert fingers or a spoon between the layer of skin and meat to gently loosen the skin. Place the turkey breast-side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Add about 1 tablespoon of the herb mixture under the skin of each breast. Rub the outside of the turkey with the olive oil. Rub the remaining herb mixture over the outside of the bird.

Loosely tie the legs together. Place into the middle of the oven.

After about 1 1/2 hours, cover the turkey with a tent of foil to prevent overcooking. Check the doneness after the bird has roasted about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. The turkey is done when the thigh is pierced deeply and juices run clear (180 to 185 F) or when the breast muscle reaches 170 to 175 F.

Remove the turkey from the oven. Let it stand about 20 minutes to allow juices to settle in the meat. Deglaze the pan by adding 1/2 cup water. Stir to scrape up the browned bits. Pour pan drippings into a gravy separator. Reserve 1 cup of defatted pan drippings for the au jus.

To make the au jus, combine the sage, thyme, parsley, honey and apple juice in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by half. Add the defatted pan drippings and bring to a low boil, stirring often.

Carve the turkey and drizzle turkey slices with the herbed au jus. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis per serving
  • Calories: 215
  • Total carbohydrate: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 117 mg
  • Dietary fiber: trace
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1 g
  • Protein: 37 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Sodium: 91 mg
  • Sugars: 3 g
  • Total fat: 3 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
Click to expand tables
Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid Servings
Diabetes Meal Plan Exchanges
DASH Eating Plan Servings