This is real folks. Thanksgiving is next week and I’m really excited. Mainly because I get to host this year but my friend from Austrailia will be coming back for another visit before he heads home. So not only do I get to cook but cook for a guest who has never had Thanksgiving dinner before! The pressure is on. Lol! Not really, he loves my food so I’m sure it will be all good! The funny thing is though, they rarely eat turkey in Austrailia so it will be a nice change for him and a new experience for sure! So my guest list is set. Our friends who introduced us and my parents. It will be a small gathering which will be nice!
In preparation for next weeks feast, I have been experimenting with different flavors which led me to the Maple Bourbon Glazed Turkey. The combination of maple, bourbon, orange, butter, fresh herbs, and garlic are kinda like heaven on a plate! I love how the maple and butter give the turkey a glorious tan while cooking. Who doesn’t love a nice tan, right? Ha, but seriously it is really pretty when it’s done cooking and if you like to eat the turkey skin, well this is crispy and delicious. Savory with a tiny hint of sweet from the maple and bourbon! I can’t wait to make another one next week.
I cooked this turkey on my Traeger grill. I didn’t smoke this version but rather used it as an oven. So I adapted this recipe below as if you were cooking it in an oven. It’s all really the same when it comes down to it. I figure about 15 minutes per pound at 350 degrees no matter your cooking method. It’s kinda hard to mess up a turkey if you add a lot of chicken broth to the pan while it cooks. That’s my secret and I have never had a dry bird even without brining! Trust me on this one. It also enables you to make an even more delicious gravy when you are done! Lots of extra goodness.
So this week, I’ll be busy trying to figure out the rest of the menu. I have some ideas, so I’ll keep you posted. I do need to come up with some gluten-free options as one of my guests is gluten intolerant. I’m actually excited about this and finding a nice balance of foods for everyone to enjoy!
Until next time… Happy Thanksgiving planning!
- 1 turkey (pick your size) (I always cook a 12-13 pound bird)
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 orange, cut in half
- 1 small onion
Maple Bourbon Glaze
- 1 stick butter, melted
- ½ cup good quality maple syrup
- ¼ bourbon (I used Makers Mark)
- Preheat the oven or grill to 350 degrees.
- Rinse and pat dry your turkey and place in a roasting pan with a rack that is large enough to accommodate the bird. Place the onion in the "neck" portion (the hole on the front with the extra skin is) and in the cavity add the orange, squeezing the juice inside before inserting the orange.
- In a small bowl, add the softened butter, rosemary, garlic, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Mix well with a fork.
- Smear the butter mixture evenly over the bird and add 4 cups of broth to the bottom of the pan.
- Place the bird in the oven and make the glaze. In a small bowl whisk together the butter, maple syrup, and bourbon. Set aside. (you may need to microwave for a few seconds between basting).
- After about an hour, baste the bird with the glaze. Do this every half hour to 45 minutes during the cooking process. Also, baste the bird with some of the pan drippings as well to keep moist. Add more broth as needed (I always end up using all 8 cups).
- Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (if the thermometer is placed in the breast area or 180 degrees if placed in thigh area). Tent the bird with tin foil if it begins to brown too much during the cooking process.
I always cook a 12-13 pound turkey because that’s enough for me! If you cook a larger bird you will need to adjust the cooking time! Here is a good article to read about roasting a turkey. It has good advice on stuffing or no stuffing and tips on cooking time and temperature for every size bird!