Healthy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe + Savory Herb Dressing

Thanksgiving Turkey With Savory Herb Dressing | Becky Cooks Lightly
Are you ready for another gloriously light & healthy Thanksgiving dinner? This recipe from Cooking Light will make this Thanksgiving  meal the best ever.

Let's get cooking!
Weight Watchers Points
Old Points: 8 points per serving
Points+: 8 points per serving

-Nutritional Information Includes Gravy-
Yield: 12 servings
Serving Size: 6 ounces turkey and 3 tablespoons gravy

Calories: 338 ♥ Fat: 11.3g ♥ Protein: 51.3g ♥ Carb: 4.5g ♥ Fiber: 0.1g ♥ Chol: 138 mg ♥ Iron 3.3 mg ♥ Sodium: 770 mg ♥ Calc: 45 mg

Apple Cider-Brined Turkey

  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 2/3 cup kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 8 (1/8-inch-thick) slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (12 lb) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 6 cups ice
Remaining Ingredients:
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Savory Herb Gravy (Recipe to follow)
1) Prepare Brine: Combine first 8 ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until sugar and salt dissolve. Let brine cool completely.

2) Remove giblets and neck from turkey; save for Savory Herb Gravy Recipe.

3) Rinse turkey with cold water and pat dry. Trim excess fat. Stuff the body cavity with orange quarters. Place a turkey-sized oven bag inside a second bag for double thickness. Place bags in a large stockpot. Place the turkey inside the inner bag. Add cider mixture and ice. Secure bags with twist ties. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

4) Preheat oven to 500°.

5) Remove turkey from bags and dispose of the brine, orange quarters, and bags.

6) Rinse turkey with cold water and pat dry. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Place garlic, sage, thyme, parsley, onion, and broth in bottom of an roasting pan. Place roasting rack in pan. Arrange turkey, breast side down, on roasting rack. Brush turkey back with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 500° for 30 minutes.

7) Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

8) Remove turkey from oven. Carefully turn turkey over (breast side up) using tongs. Brush turkey breast with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 170°.

9) Remove turkey from oven and let stand for 20 minutes. Reserve pan drippings for Savory Herb Gravy. Remove skin before serving.

Make Ahead

Savory Herb Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Reserved turkey neck and giblets
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 parsley sprigs
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered
  • 1 carrot, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Reserved turkey drippings
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Note-The gravy, up to step 6, can be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate after step 5. Finish the gravy during the turkey's 20 minute cooling period.

1) Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add turkey neck and giblets; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides.

2) Add water and next 7 ingredients, bringing to a boil.

3) Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 2 1/2 cups. This may take up to 1 hour.

4) Strain through a colander into a bowl, reserving cooking liquid and turkey neck. Discard remaining solids.

5) Chill and skim fat from surface; discard fat. Remove meat from neck; finely chop meat. Discard neck bone. Add neck meat to cooking liquid.

6) Strain reserved turkey drippings through a colander into a shallow bowl; discard solids. Place strained drippings in freezer for 20 minutes. Skim fat from surface and discard.

7) Place flour in a medium saucepan; add 1/4 cup cooking liquid, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

8) Add remaining cooking liquid, turkey drippings, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

9) Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

10) Serve with turkey.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Serving size: 3 tablespoons

Calories: 21 ♥ Fat: 1g ♥ Protein: 1.3g ♥ Carb: 1.7g ♥ Fiber: 0.1g ♥ Chol: 4 mg ♥ Iron 0.2 mg ♥ Sodium: 160 mg ♥ Calc: 2 mg

~Happy Thanksgiving~