Sage Leaf Turkey Au Jus [naked turkey]

No need to season the turkey skin, since it will be thrown away. But first tuck lemon zest, thyme and sage leaves under the skin so these flavours can penetrate the meat.


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) garlic powder
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) black pepper
  • 1 (5 to 6 lb. /2.2 to 2.7 kg) bone-in whole turkey breast, rinsed and patted dry
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water


  1. In small bowl, combine canola oil, zest, thyme, garlic powder, ½ tsp (2 mL) salt and pepper.
  2. Separate turkey skin from breast by running fingertips between them. Rub lemon zest mixture evenly over breast, arrange sage leaves over spice mixture and cover with skin. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 °F (160 °C). Place turkey in baking pan and then on baking rack. Cook 2 hours or until meat thermometer reaches 165 °F (75 °C). Let stand 20 minutes before slicing, discard skin.
  4. Meanwhile, add lemon juice, ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt and water to pan drippings, stir until well blended. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve, reserving strained portion and discarding particles in sieve. Place strained portion in grease separator and discard excess grease.*

Serve turkey slices with au jus

*Recipe Tip

  • If you don’t have a grease separator, place the strained liquid in a small plastic bag, snip off one end of the bag to allow juices to flow through. Collect juice in a container and pinch the end before the grease comes through. Discard.


  • 12 servings (about 3 1/2 lbs/1.6 kg cooked turkey and about 1 cup/250 mL) au jus


  • about 4 1/2 oz (127 g) cooked turkey and about 1 1/2 Tbsp (20 mL) au jus


  • Calories 190
  • Total Fat 5 g
  • Saturated Fat 1 g
  • Cholesterol 95 mg
  • Carbohydrates 0 g
  • Fiber 0 g
  • Protein 36 g
  • Sodium 260 mg

See more at: The Canadian Diabetes Association

Created By
The Canadian Diabetes Association

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