Countdown to Thanksgiving – Maple Bourbon Roasted Turkey

Thanksgiving is coming and to kick off this year’s recipes we start with the main event – maple glazed turkey that has been spent the night in a brine that includes both maple and bourbon. It’s an unforgettable turkey – moist and delicious , as well as beautiful. I’ll be posting recipes from now until Thanksgiving. Each recipe will build the menu for this year’s feast. Stop by again and again and don’t forget there are many additional recipes available to help you create the perfect Thanksgiving feast.

From by the bay, wishing you special maple bourbon Thanksgiving food memories!

Maryann

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Maple Bourbon Roasted Turkey

1 16-18 lb. turkey, preferably organic

Brine

16 cups cold water, or more to cover turkey

3 cups bourbon

1 cup fine sea salt

1 cup light brown sugar

2 macintosh apples , quartered

3 garlic cloves

4 bay leaves

2 tablespoon black peppercorns

2 cups maple syrup

2 oranges quartered

3 sprigs rosemary

To roast turkey

2 whole macintosh apples

1 orange , quartered

1 bunch fresh rosemary leaves

2 tablespoons fine grey sea salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

To baste

8 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature

¼ cup maple syrup

Directions

Prepare brine by combining bourbon, water, sea salt, maple syrup, brown sugar, oranges, rosemary, apples, bay leaves and peppercorns. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Clean turkey with cold water removing any giblets and or neck. Keep giblets and neck in the refrigerator to use later for gravy base.  Place turkey and brine into a resealable plastic bag or into a large non reactive bowl covered with plastic wrap. The turkey should be covered with the brine, if not add more water. Refrigerate over night.  The next day remove turkey 40 minutes before planning to place into the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels inside and out.  Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper.  Fill the cavity  with the apples, orange and rosemary.  Tie turkey legs together and place into roasting pan. In a small sauce pan melt butter and maple syrup together on a low heat. Use this to baste turkey once before placing into the oven. Roast the turkey at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes then lower the oven to 350 degrees F.   For an 18 lb. turkey cooking time will be approximately 3 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check that the meat registers 175 degrees F at its thickest part of the thigh. Baste the turkey about every 30 minutes with the butter and maple syrup mixture. If the turkey browns too quickly tent that part with aluminum foil. When ready, remove from the oven. Take turkey from the roasting pan and place on a cutting board to rest before carving, at least 20 minutes. If you are serving later then 20 minutes from removing from oven tent turkey with aluminum foil until ready to serve.


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