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Maple-Glazed Thanksgiving Turkey
The beauty of Thanksgiving turkey recipes is that there are as many recipes as there are families. While making a turkey will always take time, this recipe is straightforward and yields delicious results with minimum preparation. So give it a try—it’s delicious whether it’s your first turkey or your twentieth.
- 12 lb. turkey
- 1/2 cup(s) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup(s) fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup(s) maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. minced thyme
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 can chicken broth
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped
- 10 cloves garlic (leave papery skin on)
- Completely defrost turkey in the refrigerator, if necessary.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- If the stuffing was refrigerated, bring to room temperature before putting into bird.
- Remove any innards from turkey. Remove any excess fat from the neck or chest cavity and rinse the cavities thoroughly with cool water. Pat dry. Salt and pepper thoroughly.
- Combine the butter, orange juice, maple syrup, thyme, salt and pepper in microwave-safe bowl. Heat to melt, about 60 seconds.
- To fill the neck cavity with stuffing, place the turkey chest side down. Fill this area very loosely, then pull the skin flap up and over and secure to the backbone with a skewer. Turn the turkey over to fill the chest cavity. Stuff turkey lightly with your desired stuffing; do not pack it in. This size bird will accommodate about 7 cups total. If there is skin to pull together to cover the stuffing, secure it with skewers. If this skin has been trimmed off, cover the exposed stuffing with foil.
- Set stuffed turkey on a roasting rack in a 3- to 4-inch deep roasting pan. Add 1 cup of stock and 1 cup of water into the roasting pan. Brush the turkey liberally with the melted thyme butter.
- Put in middle rack of pre-heated oven. Cook for 20 minutes per pound, basting every 30 minutes with pan drippings. If any areas start to darken too quickly, cover lightly with foil. After about 2 hours of cooking, add the chopped vegetables and garlic to the roasting pan, under and around the turkey. Continue to baste. If the pan dries out, add more stock or water. Never let the pan become dry.
- This size turkey will take about 4 hours to roast. The turkey is done when a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 160°F. The drumsticks should also move loosely in the socket.
- Remove the turkey to a carving board and tent loosely with foil. The turkey should rest at least 30 minutes before carving. This gives you plenty of time to make the pan gravy.
- Place the turkey on a large platter and decorate with fruits, like grapes and figs, fresh leaves and sprigs of herbs.