Monday, November 19, 2012

Sage, Orange, and Clove Rotisserie Turkey

W made a "fresh", small turkey, 11 lbs, on the rotisserie over the weekend, because we are going to Scott's family on Thanksgiving,  We like to have the turkey and leftovers for soup, sandwiches, and Turkey and Broccoli, our favorite. When the turkey, is labeled "fresh", how fresh is fresh? The turkey was not frozen, and had a use by date of 11/24 which I bought on Friday, and we cooked on Saturday. The turkey was very moist and juicy, even the white meat. Not sure if the turkey was so moist because it was "fresh, or it was cooked on the rotisserie. All I know is that it was so good. The total cooking time for The turkey was 2 Hrs. 20 min., and our weather has been in the 50's, perfect for grilling. So if you are having a small group, or just want a delicious turkey, I would reccomend making your turkey on the rotisserie grill if you have one.  If you don't have  a rotissserie, you can cook the turkey with the indirect method.***

Scott knew that he wanted to do a rub this time, and found a Sage, Orange, and Clove rub, which was so good. This rub sounds like a stuffing recipe with the sage, oranges and cloves, but it goes on the outside of the bird, except for the oranges, fresh sage, and whole cloves, which are stuffed into the cavity of the bird. The recipe called for dried granulated orange peel, but we made our own.  We simply "dried" the orange zest in the microwave, and it turned out well. This turkey had so much flavor, and we had the stuffing flavor, without the stuffing! The spices weren't overpowering, adding subtle layers of flavor,  with  the orange flavor as well.

Along with our turkey for our Mini Thanksgiving we had Roasted Vegetables, with Red Onion and Bacon, Spinach Salad with Apples, Craisins, and Walnuts with a Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Fresh Cranberry Sauce with orange zest, and cinnamon. a few of these recipes will be posted later this week. We didn't miss the stuffing at all! Of course we had some dessert,  we had the Cranberry Cheesecake Bars. so good. 

Sage, Orange, and Clove, Rotisserie Turkey 
                   Adapted from   
  •     2  Tablespoons dried granulated orange peel*** 
  •         1 tablespoon dried sage
  •       1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  •         1/2teaspoon ground black pepper
  •         1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  •         1 turkey, 12 to 14 pounds
  •         2  small oranges, washed and dried
  •         12 whole cloves
  •         6 medium garlic cloves, crushed
  •         1 bunch fresh sage, tied with butcher’s twine
  1.  In a small bowl, mix the rub ingredients.
  2. Remove and discard the neck, giblets, pop-up timer, and any excess fat from the turkey. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  4. Pierce each orange several times with a knife Insert 6 whole cloves into each orange..  Put the clove-studded oranges, garlic, and sage into the turkey cavity. Truss the turkey with butcher’s twine, tying the wings close to the body and securing the legs. Position one set of fork prongs on the far end of the spit and slide the spit into the neck end through the turkey (skewer the oranges) and out the other side, just underneath the drumsticks. Slide the other set of fork prongs on the spit and drive the prongs into the back of the turkey. Make sure the turkey is centered on the spit before tightening the fork prongs into place. Rub the entire exterior of the turkey with the rub, pressing it into the skin.
  5. Set the spit in place, turn on the rotisserie motor, and let the turkey rotate over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until the internal temperature reaches 170ºF in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone), 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 hours. ***Note: If you do not have a rotisserie, grill the turkey over indirect medium heat for 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 hours.
  6. When the turkey is fully cooked, turn off the rotisserie motor and, wearing barbecue mitts, carefully transfer the spit from the grill to a cutting board. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 20 minutes (the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees during resting). Remove the spit and discard the oranges, garlic, and sage. Carve the turkey and serve warm.
** Cooks Note:
To make the dried granulated orange peel or zest, place 2 Tbsp orange zest in a microwaveable dish, and microwave for 45 sec. on high.  Cool.


  1. Yum! It sounds great! We had an early Thanksgiving dinner a couple of weeks ago and then will do it all over again Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

    1. Pam,
      Happy, Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey anytime is great, and it doesn't have to be Thanksgiving.

  2. Chicken + orange always great combination ! :)

    1. Medeja,
      Poultry and citrus are a great pairing, especially on the rotisserie.

  3. What a beautifully flavoured turkey :)

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Uru,
      t\There are many wonderful flavors in this turkey, which make it so good.

  4. Fabulous seasoning, I love all of them, shouts fall. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    1. Claudia,
      the seasoning is so good with this turkey, especially the citrus. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  5. Sounds like a perfect mini-Thanksgiving! And I need to start buying smaller turkeys so I can use our rotisserie :) Have a lovely holiday, my friend! xo

    1. Lizzy,
      Small turkeys turn out very well on the rotisserie. If you aren't having a large group, you could make a turkey on the rotisserie.

      Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. best article. best way to smoke a turkey food
    on pellet smoker.


Print friendly