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Chef Jon Bonnell Does Turkey with a Kick: Creole Roasted Turkey with Southwestern Sage Gravy

Chef Jon Bonnell's recipe for Creole Roasted Turkey with Southwestern Sage Gravy

Fort Worth, TX, December 17, 2011 --( Chef Jon Bonnell demonstrates an innovative way to prepare your holiday turkey. Leaving the traditional butter and pepper seasonings behind, follow Chef Jon Bonnell’s recipe for a unique turkey dinner that will delight your guests.

Creole roasted turkey with Southwestern sage gravy

For the Brine:
1 1/2 cups honey
2 cups kosher salt
2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 gallons water

Warm the water slightly and add in all ingredients. Stir until the honey and salt have completely dissolved, then cool the water down (ice works well) and submerge the turkey in the brine overnight. The brining turkey needs to stay at refrigerated temperature.

For the turkey:
1 12 pounds fresh turkey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Texas Red Dirt Rub, Creole Blend

Clean and rinse the turkey thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Combine the sugar and seasonings, then liberally season the entire turkey, even inside the cavity. Truss the bird with kitchen twine by tying the legs and wings in tight so that the bird cooks evenly. Roast the turkey in a 385 degree convection oven for the first 40 minutes. Turn down the oven to 325 degrees and cook until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. This should take approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours, but ovens will vary. Always check the temperature with a thermometer to ensure the bird is cooked through. It helps to use a roasting pan and roasting rack so that the turkey can be cooked evenly on all sides and the pan juices can be captured for making the gravy.

For the gravy:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
2 cups pan drippings (supplement with chicken stock if needed)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground corriander

In a heavy bottomed skillet, melt the butter, then stir in the flour over low to medium heat. Do not stop stirring once the mixture is combined. Cook until the roux becomes bubbly and starts to smell like sourdough toast, but do not allow it to become dark brown. Add in the shallots and garlic and stir while cooking for 1-2 mintues, then add in the pan drippings (and/or chicken stock) and whisk until the mixture comes to a simmer. You will not see any thickening until the liquid simmers. Once the gravy thickens, add in the cream, sage and seasonings and simmer lightly for 3-4 minutes. Taste for the right amount of salt and pepper, then serve hot.

Do not be alarmed when this turkey gets a really dark mahogany color on the outside. The sugar will caramelize and get darker than most people are used to seeing. If the bird gets too dark, lightly cover with a tent of foil to protect the exterior of the bird from burning. Depending on the type of roasting pan that you are using, sometimes it can also help to add a little water to the bottom of the pan to keep the oven environment nice and moist while the bird cooks.


About Jon Bonnell: Chef Jon Bonnell pairs his native Texas heritage with classic culinary training to create inventive and delicious dishes featuring decidedly Texan ingredients to inspire the palette. Distinguished as one of the foremost experts on fine wild game and Texas Cuisine, his innate understanding of flavor combinations and perfected techniques entices diners to experience new culinary creations. With a passion for sharing knowledge with others, there is never a technique or recipe he won’t share.

Visit Chef Jon Bonnell’s website at to learn about his cookbooks, product lines and visit his restaurant Bonnell’s in Fort Worth, Texas.
Contact Information
Chef Jon Bonnell
Kristin Moreno
817.226.4332 ext. 241

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