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Bourbon and Brown Sugar Glazed Turkey

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Glazed Turkey


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Separate cooking techniques for breast and legs in this recipe ensure that the different cuts reach their most delicious potential. Cutting the raw turkey into parts is the only challenge here; if possible, ask your butcher to do it for you.

Ingredients

Dry Brine

  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons black peppercorns, medium ground
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Confit Legs

  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • Olive oil (for cooking; 5–7 cups)

Breast and Assembly

  • ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Recipe Preparation

Dry Brine

  • Mix salt, pepper, granulated sugar, and paprika in a small bowl. Arrange turkey on a cutting board breast side up. Remove legs (keeping thigh and drumstick intact) by slicing through the skin that joins breast and leg, then bend leg down to expose joint and cut completely through the joint. Try to leave as much skin on breast as possible. Place legs on a large rimmed baking sheet. Set aside neck and giblets in cavity for making gravy. Arrange turkey on baking sheet with legs and generously sprinkle legs and turkey all over with dry brine, patting to adhere. Chill, uncovered, at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.

Confit Legs

  • Wipe off turkey legs (do not rinse) and place in the smallest heavy pot that will accommodate legs in a single layer (it’s okay if they overlap slightly). Add garlic and rosemary. Pour in oil just to barely cover legs. Heat over medium until a few bubbles begin to appear. Cover, reduce heat, and very gently simmer until meat is tender (the meat on the drumstick will have pulled away from the bone), 3–3½ hours. Let turkey thighs cool in oil until just warm, about 2 hours. Chill at least 2 hours but preferably longer. Meat will firm up the colder it gets, making it less likely to fall apart when glazing.

  • Do Ahead: Legs can be cooked 1 day ahead. Keep chilled in oil.

Breast and Assembly

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Place turkey on a wire rack set inside a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, rotating baking sheet once, until golden brown all over, 35–40 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, bring brown sugar, bourbon, soy sauce, butter, and paprika to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half and thick enough to coat a spoon but not syrupy, 6–8 minutes. Reduce heat to very low and keep glaze warm until ready to use.

  • Reduce oven temperature to 325° and roast turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 100°–110°. Then roast, basting every 10 minutes or so, making sure to lightly coat the entire breast each time (but save some glaze for the legs) and rotating baking sheet occasionally, until thermometer registers 150°, 60–75 minutes total after reducing oven temperature to 325°. Transfer breast to a cutting board and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.

  • Increase oven temperature back to 425°. Remove turkey legs from oil, wiping off excess, and place on a clean rimmed baking sheet; discard or chill cooking oil (skim off juices and use them in gravy; use oil for cassoulet or another confit).

  • Carefully move a rack to upper third of oven and roast legs until skin is golden brown and fat is rendered, 15–20 minutes. Then roast, basting every 3 minutes or so with remaining glaze, until legs are well coated, 10–12 minutes. Arrange on a platter with sliced breast for serving.

Recipe by Ann Redding & Matt Danzer,

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 910 Fat (g) 44 Saturated Fat (g) 11 Cholesterol (mg) 395 Carbohydrates (g) 11 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 9 Protein (g) 105 Sodium (mg) 750Reviews SectionI have made this five times for my Annual Friendsgiving and it is an absolute show stopper. I’ve never done the legs just breast and always comes out moist with a beautiful color skin! WinnerI have made this turkey 4 times. It is a showstopper. I never bother with the confit legs, I mean come on there's enough other stuff to do for Thanksgiving. This year I tried to use the drippings for gravy, big mistake. It tasted like the ocean and we had to throw it out. I even blended two sweet potatoes in to cut the salt, no dice. I guess a heavily salted dry brine has its downsides...My experience was completely different from anonymous. Made this for our family feast last year, and everyone loved it. The glaze itself was something to behold. Its aroma was weird, its taste on the tongue, warm and fitting for thanksgiving. We had two people bring turkeys, and the bourbon turkey was the first to go (the second was a traditionally seasoned turkey). I’ll be making it this year again. If you decide to go with this, my suggestion for whiskey Is Woodford Kentucky straight bourbon. You’ll have some leftover good whiskey to enjoy.GrilledcheeseLos Angeles11/16/18The flavors are all wrong. Bourbon does not compliment the taste of the turkey and the glaze is much too sweet. I was drawn in by the picture but I would steer clear of this one in the future. Luckily This was just a breast and not a whole turkey.AnonymousSan Francisco11/26/17

How to Make a Bourbon-Glazed Turkey

If there’s one thing a modern man should know how to do, it’s make a turkey for holiday entertaining. You can prove your kitchen prowess by serving this bourbon-glazed turkey for Thanksgiving or any other holiday dinner — forever sealing your fate as master of the bird.

If you’re feeling plucky, you can spatchcock* your turkey before roasting. Yeah, we went there.

Bourbon-Glazed Turkey
Serves: 12-14

Ingredients

Dry Brining
12-14 pound turkey
1/2 cup iodized salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Bourbon Butter
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 pound salted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Bourbon Glaze
1/2 cup Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Gravy Veggies
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 celery rib, sliced
2 cups chicken stock

3 Days Before Roasting
Note: If buying a frozen turkey, be sure to thaw under refrigeration or in a cooler three days before this step.

Remove the thawed turkey from its bag. Remove the giblet bag and save for gravy if using. Drain any excess juices into a sink and pat dry.

Mix the salt, baking powder, and sugar together. Evenly season both sides of the turkey with the salt mixture, using a little more than half. (You can save the rest any future poultry brining you might do.)

Place the turkey skin side up in a roasting pan lined with a rack. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Day of Roasting
Place oven rack in middle position. Preheat the oven to 450° F.

Combine granulated garlic and onion, sage, thyme, black pepper, and sugar in the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the butter and bourbon and pulse to form a paste. Divide the butter mixture in half.

Starting at the bottom of the breast, separate the skin from the meat on the breasts and thighs. Using a small spoon, transfer one half of the butter mixture under the skin. Use your hands on top of the skin to help spread it all over the thighs and breasts.

For the bourbon glaze, melt the other half of the butter mixture in a small pan and add the Ezra Brooks bourbon, sugar, and salt. Brush half of this mixture over the skin.

Lift up the rack in the roasting pan and spread the sliced onions, carrots, and celery evenly in the bottom pour in the stock. Replace the rack over the veggies and transfer the turkey onto the rack.

Transfer the roasting pan to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, rotating once. Reduce the heat to 350° F, and cook for about two more hours, rotating the pan every 15 minutes to ensure even browning, and brushing with more of the bourbon glaze.

The turkey is ready when the thickest part of the breast reads 150° F the thigh should read 165° F. For larger birds, total time will be 12 to 15 minutes per pound.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. Gently cover with aluminum foil.

Gluten-Free Gravy
Place roasting pan on stovetop. Add 2 cups of water and gently scrape caramelized bits from the bottom, sides, and corners. Transfer mixture to a pot large enough to hold and puree with a stick blender. Add a splash of bourbon and more water if necessary to adjust consistency.

* How to Spatchcock a Turkey
Spatchcocking is the process of butterflying a turkey (or chicken) by removing the backbone so it lays flat. This makes for more even cooking and a more tender bird it also makes carving easier. If you’re buying a fresh turkey, you can ask your butcher to do it for you. If you’re buying a frozen turkey, you can do it after you thaw it.

To spatchcock, remove the thawed turkey from its bag. Remove the giblet bag and save for gravy if using. Drain any excess juices into a sink. Pat dry and place breast side down on a large cutting board.

Using kitchen shears, cut down each side of the backbone, starting at the bottom of the turkey. If the turkey becomes unruly (slippery to hold), use a clean dish towel to get a better hold. Remove any excessive fat near the neck end of the turkey.

Save the spine and any removed fat to roast with the turkey to help flavor the gravy. To make carving easier, remove the wishbone as well. Using the tip of a paring knife, cut along both sides then pull out. Turn the turkey over and spread the turkey apart. Press down firmly on the top of the breast to crack the breast bone and to ensure that the turkey is lying as flat as possible.

Preheat the oven to 450° F and prepare the turkey as directed following the recipe above.

Transfer the roasting pan to the oven, rotating it every 15 minutes to ensure even browning, and brushing with the bourbon glaze. After about 70 minutes, start checking the temperature with an insta-read thermometer. The thickest part of the breast should be 150°F, and the thigh should read 165° F. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. Gently cover with aluminum foil.


Maple Brown Sugar Turkey Breast

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway for Albertsons. All opinions are 100% mine.

MAPLE BROWN SUGAR TURKEY BREAST — Turkey breast is basted with a sweet and savory maple and brown sugar glaze, then roasted until tender and juicy. Such an easy, delicious way to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey!

If you’re looking for a simple but delicious way to serve your turkey this Thanksgiving, this Maple Brown Sugar Turkey Breast is an easy but elegant solution that will be the centerpiece of your holiday table.

Even my husband, who isn’t a huge fan of turkey, kept commenting on how delicious it was, and happily went back for seconds!

With this easy turkey recipe and some help from my local Safeway store, I’ll be able to serve a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner this year, without spending all day in the kitchen!

You’ll find everything you need for a delicious holiday spread at your neighborhood Safeway store, including turkeys, pies, breads and rolls, plus all the fresh produce and other ingredients you need to make your family’s favorite side dishes.

I usually do all of the Thanksgiving cooking and baking for my family, and over the years, I’ve learned to rely on my Safeway bakery for things like pies and rolls.

They always offer a variety of high quality rolls and holiday pies, and not baking everything from scratch saves me so much time…..and sanity!

I do enjoy making our traditional Thanksgiving side dishes from scratch, including stuffing and potatoes, and Safeway has everything I need to make a complete holiday meal!

Stuffing is my personal favorite when it comes to Thanksgiving sides, but the rest of my family loves potatoes, whether mashed or roasted. And if we have relatives joining us, I like to include a sweet potato side dish too.

I also like to include a non-starchy vegetable on my Thanksgiving menu, like green beans or roasted carrots. No matter what’s on your Thanksgiving menu, the produce department at Safeway has all the fresh in-season produce to make delicious holiday sides.

Things might look a little different for Thanksgiving this year, but however you are planning to celebrate, Safeway has got you covered.

And if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed this holiday season, you can save time and order your entire Thanksgiving meal ahead online here: Order ahead. Simply order online, pick up at the store and re-heat when ready to serve.

Here are a few more tips to make this Thanksgiving stress-free:

TIPS FOR A STRESS-FREE THANKSGIVING DINNER

  • Shop early for any essentials and items that can be stored early, such as spices and seasonings, stuffing mixes, turkey (which you can keep in the freezer, and ingredients for pie crusts and baked goods.
  • If you decide to do your Thanksgiving shopping in-store this year, shop during the business hours when the stores tend to be quieter.
  • If you’re not sure about the cut of meat (or the amount) you should serve, ask your butcher for help! Place any custom order with your butcher ahead of time to ensure you have a stress-free, delicious Thanksgiving.
  • Prepare everything you can in advance–pies, stuffing and other sides, rolls, and even mashed potatoes can all be made a day or two in advance.
  • Remember, your family and friends care most about spending time with you, so don’t stay in the kitchen all day. Make sure to relax and spend time with your loved ones.

You really can have a relaxing, stress-free Thanksgiving, especially with easy recipes like this Maple Brown Sugar Turkey Breast and a little help from your local Safeway store.

And Safeway also offers Grocery Delivery and DriveUp & Go™ for convenient ways to shop!


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Combine ketchup, tomato sauce, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, mustard powder, liquid smoke, and cayenne pepper in a saucepan bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until sauce is reduced and smooth, about 45 minutes.


  • 1 12-to-14-pound turkey with giblets
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Corn Bread Stuffing, (recipe follows)
  • ¾ cup bourbon, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or spicy brown mustard, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 ½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • A few sprigs fresh parsley
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 6-8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 ¼ cups water, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a lightly oiled rack in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Lightly oil a 2-quart baking dish.

Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavity and reserve for the stock. (Discard the liver.) Remove any visible fat from the turkey. Rinse it inside and out with cold water and pat dry. Season the cavity with salt and pepper.

Spoon about half of the Corn Bread Stuffing into the turkey and neck cavities, securing the neck cavity with a skewer. Transfer the remaining stuffing to the prepared baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate.

Stir together 1/4 cup of the bourbon, 1/4 cup of the mustard and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar in a small bowl. Separate turkey skin from the breast meat with your fingers, taking care not to tear the skin or pierce the meat. Rub about half the glaze under the skin onto the breast meat set aside the remaining glaze. Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Tie the drumsticks together and tuck wing tips behind the back. Place the turkey, breast-side up, in the prepared roasting pan. Cover with lightly oiled aluminum foil and roast for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the foil, brush the turkey all over with some of the reserved glaze and baste with pan juices. Continue roasting, uncovered, 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer, brushing with glaze and basting from time to time. The turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees F and registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the stuffing.

To make giblet stock: While the turkey is roasting, heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the giblets, neck, onion and carrot cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add broth, garlic, parsley, thyme, peppercorns and 1 cup water bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve. (You should have about 2 1/2 cups stock.) Chill until ready to use. Skim off fat.

To make gravy: When the turkey is done, transfer it to a carving board. Scoop the stuffing into a serving bowl, cover and keep warm. Place the dish of extra stuffing in the oven to heat. Cover the turkey loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, pour the drippings from the roasting pan through a strainer into a small bowl, then chill in the freezer so that the fat can be skimmed off. Add the remaining 1/2 cup bourbon to the roasting pan and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, for about 1 minute. Strain into a medium saucepan. Add the giblet stock and bring to a simmer. Skim off fat from the chilled pan juices before adding to the pan. Dissolve cornstarch in water in a small bowl slowly add to the simmering sauce, whisking until slightly thickened. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons mustard and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Remove string from the turkey and carve, discarding skin. Serve with gravy and stuffing.


Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze

Everyone will fight over who gets the biggest piece of ham once they smell this sweet bourbon brown sugar glaze. This flavor melds perfectly with any holiday season.

Ingredients

  • (1) 5lb Kunzler Old Fashioned Ham
  • 16 oz. Brown Sugar
  • ½ C. Coke
  • ¾ C. Bourbon
  • 4 T. Butter
  • ½ C. Spicy Brown Mustard (optional)
  • 1 T. Cornstarch
  • 2 T. Water

Directions

Step 1
Step 2

Place ham in roasting pan with a small amount of water in the bottom.

Step 3

Place pan into the oven, set timer for 1 hour.

Step 4

In a medium sized saucepan combine brown sugar, coke, bourbon, and butter. Place on burner set to medium high.

Step 5

As glaze reaches boil, combine cornstarch and water in a separate bowl. Mix into glaze allow to thicken. Reduce to low heat

Step 6

Remove ham from the oven and drizzle the glaze over ham with a large spoon. Place ham back into oven.

Step 7

Set timer for 15 minutes, baste with pan juices. Return to oven and repeat until ham reaches internal temperature of 140 F.

Step 8

Remove from pan place on cutting board. Cut several slices, arrange all pieces decoratively on plate.


Roast Bourbon & Mustard Glazed Turkey

A small portion of the brown sugar-sweetened bourbon and mustard glaze is rubbed just beneath the skin directly onto the breast meat in readying the bird for roasting. This holiday-perfect roast turkey recipe includes directions for roasting a stuffed turkey and for making a delicious gravy using seasoned giblet stock.

Recipe Ingredients:

Bourbon & Mustard Glaze:
3/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup Dijon, plus 2 teapoons (or spicy brown mustard)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cornstarch

12 to 14 pounds Honeysuckle White Whole Turkey
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Cornbread Stuffing (or use your favorite stuffing)

Giblet Stock:
1 package giblets and neck, from turkey
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (preferably canola)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 to 4 sprigs fresh parsley (a few sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dry)
8 whole peppercorns

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Bourbon & Mustard Glaze: Stir together in a small bowl 1/4 cup of the bourbon, 1/4 cup of the mustard, and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavity and reserve for the stock. (Discard the liver.) Remove any visible fat from the turkey. Rinse it inside and out with cold water and pat dry. Season the cavity with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare cornbread stuffing or the stuffing of your choice.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Place a lightly oiled rack on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Lightly oil a 2-quart baking dish.
  5. Spoon about half the corn bread stuffing into the turkey and neck cavities, securing the neck cavity with a skewer. Transfer the remaining stuffing to the prepared baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate.
  6. With your fingers, separate the turkey skin from the breast meat, taking care not to tear the skin or pierce the meat. Rub about half the glaze under the skin onto the breast meat set aside the remaining glaze. Season the bird with salt and pepper.
  7. Tie the drumsticks together and tuck wing tips behind the back. Place the bird, breast side up, in the prepared roasting pan. Cover with lightly oiled aluminum foil and roast for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the foil, brush the turkey all over with some of the reserved glaze and baste with pan juices. Continue roasting, uncovered, 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer brushing with glaze and basting from time to time. The turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180°F (85°C) and registers 165°F (75°C) when inserted into the stuffing.
  8. To Make Giblet Stock: While the turkey is roasting, heat oil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the giblets, neck, onions, and carrot cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until well browned. Add chicken stock, garlic, parsley, thyme, peppercorns and 1 cup of water bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve. (You should have about 2 1/2 cups stock.) Chill until ready to use. Skim off the fat.
  9. When the turkey is done, transfer it to a carving board. Scoop the stuffing into a serving bowl, cover and keep warm. Place the dish of extra stuffing in the oven to heat. Cover the turkey loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.
  10. To Make Gravy: Pour the drippings from the roasting pan through a strainer into a small bowl, then chill in the freezer so that the fat can be skimmed off. Add the remaining 1/2 cup bourbon to the roasting pan and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, for about 1 minute. Strain into a medium saucepan. Add the giblet stock and bring to a simmer. Skim off fat from the chilled pan juices before adding to the pan. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 cup water slowly add to the simmering sauce, whisking until slightly thickened. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons mustard and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  11. Remove string from turkey and carve, discarding skin. Serve with gravy and stuffing.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Honeysuckle White, a division of Cargill, Incorporated. Used with permission.


Maple and bourbon glazed turkey

A different way to present your Christmas turkey. Maple syrup and bourbon give a sweet but mature flavour, and a beautiful bronzed finish. And a few clementines for festive cheer, and you've got yourself a winning recipe

Published: August 13, 2015 at 10:12 am

Try this maple and bourbon glazed turkey, then check out our roast turkey, turkey crown, turkey gravy and more Christmas turkey recipes.

Ingredients

  • whole turkey 5-5.5kg
  • clementines 2
  • butter 25g, softened
  • onions 2, unpeeled, thickly sliced
  • thyme a few fresh sprigs, if you like
  • plain flour 3 tbsp
  • chicken stock cubes 2
  • maple syrup 1 tbsp
  • bourbon 3 tbsp
  • cocoa 2 tsp
  • soy sauce 1-2 tbsp

GLAZE

  • maple syrup 4 tbsp
  • bourbon 4 tbsp
  • soft brown sugar 4 tbsp
  • soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • Dijon or English mustard 1 tbsp

Method

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Weigh the turkey (you might need to use your bathroom scales), so you can calculate the cooking time, allowing 40 minutes per kg for the first 4kg, then 45 minutes for each kg over that weight. Push the clementines into the bird’s cavity, and rub the soft butter all over the outside, then season generously. Arrange the onion slices and thyme in the bottom of a large roasting tin. Sit the turkey on top and cover with a tent of foil so it doesn’t touch the top of the bird, but crimps tightly to the edges of the tin. Roast following to your calculation.


How do I cook a turkey breast in the crock pot?

Start by making a spice rub for the turkey breast. In a small bowl, combine paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, ground cumin and ground cloves. Rub this spice mixture on the turkey breast and place it in a slow cooker.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine bourbon, fresh squeezed orange juice, orange zest and honey. Pour this mixture over the turkey in the slow cooker.

Set to low and cook for 6-8 hours.

After the turkey breast has finished cooking, remove from the crock pot and slice. I like to use a ladle to spoon the orange bourbon sauce from the crock pot and serve on the side or drizzled over the turkey breast.


Bourbon Glazed Smoked Turkey

Thanksgiving dinner is my JAM! I start planning for this time of year in September. Every morsel is laid out on a 2-3 day preparation timeline leading up to the big meal. From appetizers to dessert, everything is made from scratch to finish. I have been obsessed with Thanksgiving dinner since college. It was my first experience cooking the big feast and I even roasted my own pumpkins to make pumpkin pie. However, I wasn't as culinarily versed and used a carving pumpkin as opposed to the preferred sugar pumpkins. The pie was not quite right, but still had good flavor.

Since college, Thanksgiving dinner has evolved. Some fare changes from year to year and a couple recipes are staples. The feature edible on every Thanksgiving dinner table, the turkey, has matured over the years in The Bell House.

Before Michael became the grill master, he is today, we used to roast our turkey. I would stuff it with apples, onions and shove a sage, thyme and rosemary butter under the skin. This was our turkey for years. Then we came across this Bourbon Glazed Turkey in a Rachel Ray magazine about 10 years ago.

For a few years, we would roast my turkey and Michael would smoke this Bourbon Glazed Turkey. Both turkeys offered up great flavor and worthy of Thanksgiving dinner, but eventually I laid the roasted turkey to rest.

This Bourbon Glazed Turkey has become an essential player in the Thanksgiving dinner game and we've been informed this turkey is not to come off the menu.

In this post, I found a 9 pound bone-in turkey on sale. You will notice this turkey doesn't have legs or wings. For thanksgiving we buy a 14 pound bird complete with legs and wings. We also serve an appetizer, mashed potatoes, a veggie, dinner rolls, candied sweet potatoes and two types of pies which are not pictured here. Gluttony at its best.

BRINE FOR THE TURKEY:

14 pound turkey, or one that will fit on your grill

2 cups apple juice, plus more for basting

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

3 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled

1 1/2 teaspoons of Worchestershire sauce

1 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper

Marinate your turkey the day before. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients, except the turkey. Bring the mixture to boil and let cool.

Rinse your turkey and place it in a container large enough to hold the bird. An unscented trash bag and cooler works well for those larger turkeys. Pull the giblets out of the turkey and place in a tightly sealed container until the next day. You can use this to make your own gravy. Instructions are below.

CAUTION: Remember to sterlize any and all items that have come into contact with the raw turkey. No one wants Thanksgiving dinner to turn into a food born illness nightmare.

Once the brine has cooled, inject the turkey with the brine. You can find an injector in most grocery and kitchen stores.

Pour the rest of the brine into the container and cover tightly. Refrigerate overnight. Turn the turkey once or twice if it's not completely covered in brine.

4 tablespoons of yellow mustard

2 tablespoons of chili powder

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of onion powder

2 packets of Goya Sazon con Azafran (saffron seasoning)

The next day, remove the turkey from the brine, rinse and pat dry. In a small bowl, mix together all the turkey rub ingredients.

Rub the paste underneath the skin and throughout the cavity of the bird.

Prepare your grill using an indirect heat method. Place the hot coals on one side of the grill and your turkey on the other side. You will want to maintain a temperature of 350 degrees during grilling. You can also set a foil tray underneath the turkey while it's cooking. This will capture any turkey drippings you may want to use in the gravy.

Baste your turkey with apple juice every 30 minutes for the next 2-3 hours. If you have a bone in turkey with no legs/thighs, place your insta-read thermometer in the breast. When it reads 165 degrees for 15 seconds, the turkey is done.

If you have a bone in turkey with legs and thighs, the insta-read thermometer should be placed in the thigh, careful not to place the thermometer near the bone. The reading should be the same, 165 degrees.

PREPARATION TIP: If you are concerned with the turkey drying out, you can add another step before grilling. Turn the bird breast side down and using a very sharp knife, cut out the turkey's backbone. Then flip the bird back over, flatten the turkey and remove the legs and thighs using a sharp knife. You can grill the individual pieces to the correct temperature.

During the last 30 minutes of cooking, brush your turkey with the BOURBON-HONEY GLAZE:

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

Whisk all the ingredients together. Brush the turkey with the glaze during the last 30 minutes on the grill. Notice, we ended up placing a foil ring under the turkey to keep the breasts propped up. If your turkey has legs or you removed the backbone, this step shouldn't be necessary.

Let the turkey rest for at least 20-25 minutes before hacking it to pieces.

Slice and serve with turkey gravy. Subscribe to the site and you won't miss the Cornbread Cranberry Stuffing Muffins that have been a constant side dish since the inception of The Bell House Thanksgiving dinners.

TURKEY GRAVY:

1 apple, cut into quarters

1 onion, cut into quarters

1 celery, stalk tops and ends not being used in stuffing

1 teaspoon of peppercorns

1 teaspoon of French Thyme

1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with cold water

In a small saucepan, add all the ingredients except for the cornstarch and cold water mixture. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about an hour.

Strain the mixture and put the liquid back in the pot over medium heat. Add any turkey drippings. Mix together cornstarch and cold water. Whisk into the liquid and continue to whisk until the gravy thickens. Give it a taste, adjust the flavor with a pinch of salt and a chicken bouillon cube.

BEFORE YOU GO: Don't toss out the turkey carcass. This is good stuff! Grab a large enough pot to hold the turkey carcass. Fill with water and add some aromatics such as onions, celery, carrots and a bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for at least an hour or until the rest of the meat falls off. Strain the stock. Pick out the meat and add it back to the stock.

Now, make the Chicken Pot Pie Soup except use Turkey! You can also freeze the stock for up to a month.