My mom is coming up from Florida for a visit and it happens to be Easter weekend. I love cooking for holidays but I’m just not sure what to make for Easter. I know what you are going to say, you’re going to say “But you make ham for Easter!” This is true but we didn’t have turkey on Thanksgiving since we had just brought Autumn home Monday night and none of us were going to whip up a turkey just a few days later. (Side note: our super sweet Chilean neighbor brought us over some food- shrimp cocktail, roasted pork, and rice.)
So I’ve had turkey on the brain every since.
We did do an early Thanksgiving which was awesome but I’ve been thinking about making a turkey recently. It’s probably because I’ve been enjoying the work week more when I have dinner prepped or pre made so we are just assembling or reheating it. A big turkey cooked up on a Sunday would give us plenty of leftovers for lunches and dinners for a few days.
The turkey is really moist as the skin locks in the moisture. Plus the vegetable and the liquid in the bottom of the pan also helps keep the turkey from drying out. Can’t have a dry turkey! That’s the worst.
I always use a turkey with a built in thermometer as I’ve had issues with the done-ness in the past. When I’ve cooked turkeys without a built in thermometer I’ve under cooked them in the past when I’ve just stuck a thermometer in the thigh, received the reading of 165 degrees, took it out of the oven and when I’ve carved it up later I’ve discovered a pink bird. So, do what works for you.Feel free to use both thermometers… why not!?!
The brown sugar glaze is easy to prepare and it gives such a lovely flavor to the turkey. But the best is that it makes the skin sticky and crisp. So when you sneak a piece of skin before you serve it you have to lick your fingers clean of any delicious evidence!
As well the gravy is unlike any other gravy I’ve had before. The gravy is made with the drippings from the pan, leftover graze, and hard cider. The cider really does give it a lot of apple-y flavor but I liked that with the sweetness of the glaze but using stock would be just fine as well.
So give turkey a chance for Easter, or any lovely Sunday dinner. If not, the make it for Thanksgiving and your family will thank you. They will so so excited that you tried this Brown Sugar Glazed Turkey. I swear!
For the Turkey
- 12-15 pound turkey, brought to room temperature
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 orange
- herb bundle containing rosemary, thyme, sage
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup of orange juice mixed with 1 cup of hard cider or stock
For the Glaze
- 2/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons of butter
For the Gravy
- drippings from the pan
- 2-3 tablespoon flour
- any remaining leftover glaze
- 1-2 cups of hard cider or stock
- sage leaves
- Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place the turkey in a roasting pan with a rack. Tuck wing tips underneath the body of turkey. Stuff the tukey with the carrots, celery, onion, orange, and herbs.
- Carefully seperate the skin of the turkey from the breast and place pieces of butter between the breast and skin of the turkey. Season the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper.
- Pour the orange juice mixture into the bottom of the pan.
- Roast the turkey for for 30 minutes.
- Turn down the oven to 350 and let continue to cook for another 45 minutes before rotating for another 45 minutes.
- While the turkey is cooking, make the glaze by combining the vinegar, brown sugar, and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is syrupy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and orange zest.
- Brush the skin of the turkey with the glaze after it has been roasting for an hour and 30 minutes at 350. Brush and rotate the bird every 15 minutes until it has completed cooking, when the temperature ofin the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees.
- Remove from oven and tent with alumnium foil for at least 30 minutes before carving.
To make the gravy
- Remove the drippings from the pan. (I suggest using a baster to do this task)
- Let the drippings sit for a few minutes so that fat seperates and you can remove some of it.
- In a large skillet pour about a 1/4 cup of the drippings into the pan and add the flour to a paste. Slowly mix in the rest of the drippings with some whole sage leaves.
- Once that is all comined mix any remaining glaze. Then add the cider until you have reached the amount of gravy you would like. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the carved turkey with the gravy and enjoy!
- Inspired by Martha Stewart