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Maple-Bourbon-Brined Turkey

maple-bourbon-brined turkey Entree
Maple-Bourbon-Brined Turkey
  • Prep 45 min
  • Total 13 hr 15 min
  • Servings 14

This unforgettable bird is brined overnight in a maple, bourbon and orange solution, brushed with a maple and bourbon glaze, then roasted to golden brown perfection. One bite, and your holidays will never be the same. MORE+ LESS-

August 30, 2018

Ingredients

Brine

16
cups cold water
3/4
cup kosher salt
3/4
cup real maple syrup
3/4
cup bourbon
6
(2-inch) strips orange peel
2
thyme sprigs
2
bay leaves

Turkey

1
whole turkey, not prebasted (12 to 14 lb), thawed if frozen, neck and giblets removed
2
carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1
onion, cut into 8 wedges
1
orange, cut into 8 wedges
2
tablespoons melted butter

Glaze

1/2
cup fresh orange juice
1/2
cup real maple syrup
1
tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2
teaspoon kosher salt
2
tablespoons bourbon

Steps

Hide Images
  • 1
    For brine, in 2-quart saucepan, heat 3 cups of the water, 3/4 cup salt, 3/4 cup maple syrup, 3/4 cup bourbon, the orange rind, thyme and bay leaves to simmering over medium heat. Cook and stir until salt is dissolved, about 6 minutes. Pour into large clean bucket or stockpot (noncorrosive), and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Add remaining 13 cups cold water.
  • 2
    Add turkey to brine mixture. If brine does not cover turkey, add more water. Cover and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours, turning once.
  • 3
    Heat oven to 325°F. Remove bird from brine, and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.
  • 4
    Place bird, breast side up, on roasting rack inside large rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan, and pat dry with paper towels.
  • 5
    Place carrots, onion and orange inside turkey’s cavity. Tuck wings underneath bird, and coat skin liberally with melted butter.
  • 6
    Roast turkey 3 hours to 3 hours 45 minutes.
  • 7
    Meanwhile, make glaze by combining orange juice, 1/2 cup maple syrup, the mustard and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, beating with whisk. Heat to simmering; cook 10 to 13 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by about one-third. Remove from heat; stir in bourbon. Set aside.
  • 8
    In last 30 minutes of roasting, brush turkey with half of the glaze; roast about 15 minutes. Brush turkey with remaining glaze; roast about 15 minutes longer or until skin is deep mahogany, instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 165°F, and drumsticks move easily when lifted or twisted. Let turkey rest, loosely covered with foil, 15 minutes before carving.

Expert Tips

  • Real maple syrup is the only way to go for this recipe. For the most flavor, look for dark amber-colored syrup.
  • If your turkey is frozen, it’s important to remember to allow enough time for thawing, since turkey must be completely thawed before brining. To thaw this size of whole turkey, place turkey (in its original wrap) in pan in refrigerator 2 to 3 days.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
330
Calories from Fat
100
% Daily Value
Total Fat
11g
16%
Saturated Fat
3 1/2g
17%
Trans Fat
0g
Cholesterol
190mg
64%
Sodium
1140mg
48%
Potassium
490mg
14%
Total Carbohydrate
10g
3%
Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
Sugars
9g
Protein
48g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
2%
2%
Vitamin C
4%
4%
Calcium
4%
4%
Iron
10%
10%
Exchanges:
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 7 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
More About This Recipe
  • Nothing ruins a Thanksgiving dinner like a dry turkey. But try a maple-flavored turkey brine and your bird is guaranteed to be moist and full of flavor. While it may seem like an extra step, brining is crucial in creating extra-tender turkey. Not only does the brining process add flavor, but is also helps keep the bird moist and juicy. It’s important to allow the bird brine for a long time to really reap the benefits. Prepping the night before and letting the thawed-out turkey brine overnight ensures that the brine has plenty of time to work its magic. And while a maple-bourbon turkey brine alone would create a delicious bird, finishing it off with a maple, orange and mustard glaze really puts it over the top. Just make sure you’re using real maple syrup to ensure the best flavor. Looking for more ideas on how to level up your Thanksgiving dinner? Check out these amazing turkey recipes recipes for the ultimate holiday meal.

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