Roast Turkey with Maple Balsamic Butter Rub
Serves 10 to 14
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The key to seasoning the turkey with this butter rub is to blot the bird dry, which enables the rub to adhere to the skin. You can also stuff the turkey, but it takes about an hour longer to cook. An instant-read thermometer is a must for ensuring a perfectly cooked bird. Remember that the internal temperature will increase by a few degrees once the turkey is removed from the oven.
One 14- to 16-pound turkey, patted dry
1 large orange, peel intact and sliced crosswise
3 onions, 1 sliced, 2 coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups easy turkey stock, or chicken broth, or more if needed
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 tablespoons, pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon Seriously Simple Seasoning Salt (see Page 3)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting
2. Make the rub: In a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients until well blended. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the turkey on a piece of aluminum foil on the counter. Starting around the main body cavity, carefully slip your fingers under the skin and loosen the skin, being careful not to break the skin. (You may need to wear rubber gloves if you have long fingernails.) Pat the rub under the skin and then pat it all over the bird on top of the skin. (If some of the rub falls off, that is okay; it will flavor the gravy.)
4. Place the orange and onion slices in the cavity. Insert a wooden skewer through the thighs to hold the drumsticks together. Place the chopped onions and the carrots on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Pour the 2 cups of stock over the vegetables. Set a nonstick roasting rack in the roasting pan and place the turkey breast-side up on the rack.
5. Roast in the center of the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and roast, basting about every 45 minutes with the pan juices, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh away from the bone registers 170°F and the juices run clear. You may need to add more stock if the pan becomes too dry. If the bird becomes too dark, tent a piece of aluminum foil on top. A 16-pound turkey should take about 4 hours. Be sure to check the temperature at 30-minutes intervals as the finish time approaches.
6. Transfer the turkey to a large platter or carving board. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. Discard the vegetables.
Make the rub 2 days ahead, cover, and refrigerate. Remove both the turkey and the rub from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.
THE CLEVER COOK COULD:
- Stuff the turkey: Omit the onion and orange. Use your favorite stuffing. Loosely stuff the turkey in the neck and main cavities. Close the flaps with wooden skewers. A stuffed 16-pound bird should take about 5 hours to cook.
- Use the rub on a 3-1/2 – 4-pound chicken and roast for about 1 hour at 425°F.
The underrated Riesling is magic with the sweet and savory tastes in this turkey recipe. Lighter reds, such as Beaujolais Nouveau, Grenache, Pinot Noir, and Côtes du Rhône are also excellent choices.