… A Bit of Jack Daniels Kicks up this Turkey Glaze!
Roasting a turkey can be as simple as cleaning the bird and baking it in the oven. But I want more than that, and I’m pretty sure you do too. Basting and well seasoning your main attraction will make your main dish the star of the table. Good looks and good taste, (okay, not good taste but food that tastes good), is what it’s all about, right?
Building a foundation of oils, herbs, and seasonings directly on and in the turkey will allow the flavors to infuse into the meat. I like combining dried and fresh herbs for the best results. Basting and glazing builds flavor depth and moisture from there.
Glazes and basting sauces that offer some natural sweetness – perhaps from fruit – and a subtle foundation of boldness and depth from an ingredient quite contrasting – such as whiskey – result in a complex-tasting (albeit simple in execution) flavor profile. We don’t have to work hard, we just have to work smart, right? Of course if you’re not one who likes to cook with alcohol, this recipe will still build delicious and rich flavors minus the Jack Daniels. Simply incorporate some of the drippings into the basting glaze. Flavor upon flavor … Yum!
Gluten-free Roasted Turkey with Apple Pomegranate Glaze
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking/Roasting time: depends on weight of turkey (see this cooking guide)
Oven temp: 350ºF
Resting time: up to an hour
Makes enough glaze for a 14-16 pound turkey.
14-16 pound turkey (turkeys up to about 14 pounds are hens and are usually the most tender)
3 Tablespoons margarine, room temperature – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – soy free
2 Tablespoons oil – I like to use 1 T grapeseed oil and 1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, divided 1 T and 1 teaspoon
3 teaspoons rubbed sage, divided in half
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, divided in half
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Apple Pomegranate Glaze ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened apple juice – if frozen, it will need to be reconstituted
pomegranate seeds from half of a large pomegranate
2 Tablespoons Jack Daniels Whiskey, optional
Remove oven racks, except the lowest rack. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prep roasting pan by lining with foil and placing a roasting rack in it. You’ll want to have a oven-safe meat thermometer for this recipe.
Remove neck, giblets, and any packet of turkey parts included in the cavities. Discard or reserve for making turkey broth. Rinse turkey inside and out with fresh running water, then dry thoroughly with paper towels. Tuck wings behind back, then place turkey, breast side up, on roasting rack.
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water (uncooked poultry liquids are unsafe and should not be spread to other cooking utensils or ingredients).
Combine margarine, oil, onion, 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary, 1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage, 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, fresh oregano, fresh rosemary, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well with spoon or fingertips.
Separate skin from turkey meat, beginning at the neck, just pulling it apart enough to push fingertips between skin and turkey breast without tearing skin.
Place ¾ of margarine mixture under skin and massage gently to distribute semi-evenly across as much of the breast as possible.
Rub remaining mixture over outside of turkey (don’t worry about doing the underside where turkey is resting on rack). Sprinkle with about ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper, then sprinkle with remaining dried rosemary, sage, and thyme. Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon olive oil.
Insert meat thermometer in the thickest part of breast, avoiding any bones (as this will cause an inaccurate reading of doneness).
Bake turkey, uncovered, on lowest rack for 1 hour and fifteen minutes. Begin next step for basting glaze while turkey is baking.
Combine apple juice, pomegranate seeds, and whiskey in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and continue simmering about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.
Baste turkey with basting glaze/sauce. I like to use a bulb baster, but ladling it over the turkey works fine too. Return turkey to oven to continue baking and become golden. Continue basting every 30 minutes or so, until internal thermometer in turkey reads 165ºF, and a leg is cooked enough to move freely when twisted. If there is resistance, the turkey is not done. Always be sure that the turkey juices run clear or golden, not pink. Pink juices mean the turkey is not fully cooked.
Cover turkey with foil if skin begins to over-darken before turkey is fully cooked. Once covered, basting can be stopped.
Remove turkey from oven and loosely cover with foil (this is referred to as tenting) and let turkey rest for up to an hour. Resist carving turkey until it has completely rested, allowing all the juices to reincorporate into the meat, resulting in more moist meat and making carving easier.
Serve hot with your favorite side dishes. Store leftover turkey in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Cooked turkey can be frozen for long term storage.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™