… Tanning Oil of the Thanksgiving Turkey Gods!
Creating a rich, deep golden brown, and crispy exterior on your Thanksgiving turkey is a result of basting your bird in sweet liquids that have time to seal in the juices and nearly caramelize on the skin. Bathing the outside with periodic swipes of glaze during the baking process, you’ll see the color develop and smell the aromatic fragrances of herbs and spices that are being penetrated into the skin and cavity when the glaze moistens them. Be sure to reserve the pan drippings and extra basting glaze, as these lend themselves to a most delicious gravy for fluffy mashed potatoes.
Cook time: depends on the type and size of your bird. About 20 minutes per pound for a thawed turkey and about 12-15 minutes per pound for a fresh turkey1.
Bake temp: 350ºF
Turkey rub and cavity ingredients:
1 gluten-free turkey – Your organic and specialty markets should sell gluten-free turkeys. Honeysuckle White turkeys are gluten-free as well, and available fresh or frozen (depending on the store) at most major grocery chains.
1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 5-6 chunks
4-5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1-2 teaspoons dried, rubbed sage
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Apricot Cherry Amaretto Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup cherry juice2
1/4 cup amaretto – DiSaronno is gluten-free
1/2 cup apricot (or peach) preserves – Polaner’s is gluten-free
1 Tablespoon honey
3 drops Angostura Aromatic Bitters – aromatic and orange bitters are both gluten-free
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Line a roasting pan, large enough that the turkey will fit within the sides of the pan, with 2 layers of aluminum foil. Place a roasting rack in pan.
Remove bag of internal parts (if included), and use as you wish. This recipe doesn’t include them. Wash cavity and exterior of turkey well. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Place turkey on roasting rack. Tuck wings under bird. Place onion and carrot in cavity. Add about 1/2 of the onion powder, sage, oregano and celery seed to the cavity. Rub oil all over the skin and sprinkle with remaining herbs.
Roast turkey in preheated oven for allocated time.
In a small sauce pot over low heat, combine cherry juice, amaretto, preserves, honey, and bitters. Simmer to reduce to about 1/2 quantity while turkey is cooking.
When turkey reaches about 170ºF, remove foil and baste with a basting bulb on the exterior, as well as squirting some into the cavity. Baste again 2-3 more times until turkey is fully cooked and the exterior is golden brown and beginning to crisp.
Remove turkey from oven and loosely tent with foil. Let rest about 15 minutes, or up to an hour, before carving. This allows the internal juices to keep the bird moist and not immediately run out when carved. Carve and serve. Immediately refrigerate any leftovers following your meal.
Use the pan drippings and any remaining basting glaze to create a delicious gravy according to your preference.
1 To assure your turkey is completely cooked, your meat thermometer needs to read 180ºF when inserted into the deepest area between the leg and the breast. If you see any juices not running clear, and are still slightly pink, more cooking time is required.
2 Juicy Juice is gluten-free. Indian Summer Cherry Juice doesn’t state it is gluten free, but I’ve spoken to the manufacturer. It is our preferred juice for this recipe and has never given us any problems.
Do you like white meat or dark meat? Do you usually baste your turkey?
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