There's something lovely about the simplicity of a brine-free, herb-roasted turkey. But after years of enjoying the same turkey and cream gravy, a gal might want to try something a little radical on Thanksgiving. Maybe you're ready for a change — but you're not ready to bust out, say, the deep fryer quite yet — try our Southern spin on the big Thanksgiving bird. It's rubbed with a chili, garlic, onion, and mustard butter, then basted continually with a bourbon, apple cider, and brown sugar glaze. The results are shockingly flavorful — this is one risk worth taking. See for yourself.
- 1 12-pound turkey, giblets removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup bourbon
1 cup honey
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons paprika
4 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
- Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry. Season the outside of the bird and the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper.
- In a container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the bourbon, honey, cider vinegar, and 1 cup brown sugar. Shake vigorously to blend; set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar with the paprika, mustard, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and butter to form a paste. Rub the paste all over the turkey.
- Roast the turkey for about 45 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Reduce the heat to 350°F and continue roasting, brushing with some of the bourbon glaze every 20 minutes, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh should register 160ºF. Remove the turkey from the oven, brush with the remaining glaze, loosely tent, and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.
- Poultry, Main Dishes
- North American
- Serves 8
- Total Time
- 1 hour, 59 minutes, 59 seconds
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Susannah Chen