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Published: Tuesday, 11/11/2003

Grilled Turkey with Sage

1 (9 to 13-pound) turkey, thawed if frozen

3 lemons, halved, optional

For the Sage Garlic Baste:

1 lemon, juice and grated zest

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons minced fresh sage or 11/2 teaspoons dried sage

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook's note: If the outdoor temperature is very cold, allow extra time for grilling the turkey outdoors.

To prepare the Sage Garlic Baste: Combine baste ingredients in a small pan; cook and stir over medium heat for 4 minutes. Use baste for turkey or chicken.

To grill the turkey: Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Rinse turkey in cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Season turkey with salt and pepper; place lemons in cavity, if desired. Brush turkey with baste. Pull skin over neck and secure with skewer; toothpick wing tips to breast; tie legs together with culinary string. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of thickest part of thigh, not touching bone. Wear a hot mitt and use tongs to arrange medium-hot briquets on each side of large rectangular metal or foil drip pan. Fill pan halfway with hot water. Place turkey, breast side up, on grid directly above drip pan. Grill turkey on a covered grill for 9 to 12 minutes per pound until meat thermometer registers 185 degrees. Baste about every 20 minutes until baste is gone. Add a few briquets to both sides of the fire every hour, or as necessary to maintain a constant temperature. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

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