Inspired by family gatherings with the Speck family of Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery, the combination of Ontario butter, herbs, spices and wine in this to-die-for brine help create a flavourful and juicy young turkey, finished with a luscious white wine gravy.
Recipe developed by Chef & Professional Home Economist Emily Richards in collaboration with the Speck family.
In a saucepan, heat 4 cups (1 L) of the water with salt and honey until dissolved. Pour into a large enough pot or container to fit turkey. Add remaining water, ice, wine, rosemary, thyme, juniper and peppercorns.
Turkey: Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Submerge turkey in brine adding water as needed to cover bird. Refrigerate overnight. Remove turkey from brine; rinse well and pat dry. Place on a rack in a large foil roasting pan. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 2 hours.
Preheat smoker to reach medium heat (325ºF to 350ºF/160ºC to 180ºC).
Place fresh sage into cavity of turkey. Brush turkey all over with butter and sprinkle with pepper.
Place roasting pan in smoker, covered and maintaining as consistent a temperature as possible, for about 3 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 170ºF (77ºC). (Alternately, roast in the oven at 325ºF/160ºC.)
Remove turkey to a carving board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Gravy: Meanwhile, strain drippings from roasting pan, skim off fat and reserve for the gravy. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and thyme. Whisk in wine, broth and reserved drippings. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in salt and pepper and serve with turkey.