Emeril Lagasse’s Thanksgiving Turkey Has a 'Deliciously Unexpected' Pomegranate Glaze That Gets Turned Into Gravy

“Pomegranate is right up there with cranberry as one of my favorite fall flavors,” says the chef, whose new season of Roku’s 'Emeril Tailgates' is streaming now

<p>Fred Hardy II</p> Emeril Lagasse

Fred Hardy II

Emeril Lagasse's Roast Turkey with Pomegranate and Black Pepper Glaze

“Pomegranate is right up there with cranberry as one of my favorite fall flavors,” says Emeril Lagasse, who shares his roast turkey recipe paired with pomegranate black pepper glaze. “Its bright, tart flavor adds a deliciously unexpected note when paired with the richness of roast turkey.”

The host of Roku’s Emeril Tailgates, which has a new season streaming now, also loves the recipe for the easy prep.

"The pomegranate glaze can be made ahead of time, which is a bonus when you’re trying to pull everything together on the big day," says Lagasse. "And after glazing the turkey, the remaining glaze becomes the backbone of a simple pan sauce while the bird is resting."

During a day full of kitchen stress, having the right tools is essential. Lagasse suggests using an instant-read thermometer to take the guesswork out of making a turkey. Also remember, to safely stuff the turkey, use only precooked ingredients, and loosely fill the cavity (about ½ to 3⁄4 cup of stuffing per pound of turkey) just before roasting.

But, Lagasse's biggest tip is to relax: "Remember that Thanksgiving is about sharing the love around your family table," he says.

Emeril Lagasse's Roast Turkey with Pomegranate and Black Pepper Glaze

1 (10- to 12-lb.) whole fresh turkey

¼ cup, plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 Tbsp. plus 1¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided

1 Tbsp., plus 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided

1½ tsp. grated orange zest, plus 1 cup fresh juice (from 2 large oranges)

1⁄16 tsp. ground allspice

1⁄16 tsp. ground cloves

1⁄16 tsp. ground ginger

1⁄16 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup pomegranate molasses

¼ cup honey

2 large shallots, thinly sliced crosswise

10 Tbsp. cold butter, cubed

1. Let turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450° with oven rack in lower third position. Trim any excess fat and skin around the neck and cavity of turkey. Remove the neck, heart and gizzards from inside turkey; discard or save for another purpose. Pat turkey dry with paper towels, including inside of cavity.

2. Rub turkey skin on all sides with ¼ cup olive oil; sprinkle outside and inside cavity with 2 tablespoons salt and 1 tablespoon pepper. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen twine; tuck wing tips behind back. Place breast-side down on a roasting rack fitted inside of a large roasting pan. Roast in oven until lightly golden, about 45 minutes.

3. While turkey roasts, stir together orange zest and juice, allspice, cloves, ginger and cinnamon in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 10 to 12 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a small heatproof bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much of the liquid as possible. Add pomegranate molasses, honey and remaining 1¼ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; stir to combine. Set aside.

4. After turkey has roasted for 45 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350°. Roast 30 minutes longer; flip turkey breast-side up. Continue roasting until skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh but not touching the bone registers 165°, 1 hour to 1½ hours longer, tenting with foil as needed to prevent overbrowning. During the last 30 minutes of roasting, rotate roasting pan 180 degrees, and brush turkey with 2 tablespoons pomegranate glaze, then return to oven. Repeat with 2 more tablespoons of the glaze with 10 minutes left of roasting.

5. Remove turkey from oven, and transfer to a platter to rest at least 20 minutes before carving. Pour drippings from roasting pan into a heatproof bowl; reserve fat for another purpose or discard.

6. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan over medium until shimmering; add shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add pan drippings and remaining pomegranate glaze mixture; bring to a simmer, and cook until sauce has reduced and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. Gradually add butter, whisking to incorporate after each addition. Remove from heat and keep warm, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until ready to use. Serve sliced turkey drizzled with sauce.

Serves: 6
Active time:
 1 hour, 5 minutes
Total time:
 2 hours, 50 minutes

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