4.5
2 ratings

Roast turkey kissed with maple and smoke

A pleasantly unexpected pair
Roast turkey kissed with maple and smoke
E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune; Mark Graham / food styling

Finish off this sweet and smokey turkey with smoked salt and ground black pepper to taste. 

This recipe by Louisa Chu and JeanMarie Brownson appeared in the Chicago Tribune.

Ready in
7 h 45 m
45 m
(prepare time)
3 h
(cook time)
14
Servings

Ingredients

For the turkey

  • 1 turkey, 13 to 15 pounds
  • 2/3 Cups maple syrup
  • 1/2 Cup coarse (kosher) salt
  • 1/2 Cup bourbon (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • Peanut oil
  • Salt and black pepper

For the pan sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon (optional)
  • Smoked salt
  • Cider vinegar

Directions

For the turkey

Remove any neck and giblets packages from turkey cavity.

For brine, add 2 cups hot water, maple syrup and salt to a food-safe container large enough to hold the turkey.

Stir until syrup and salt dissolve.

Add 2 cups cold water, ½ cup bourbon and red pepper.

Carefully place turkey in brine.

Add enough cool water to cover turkey completely.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove turkey from brine.

Discard brine.

Refrigerate turkey up to 2 days.

For broth, put giblets and neck into a deep saucepan.

Add about 3 cups cold water. Simmer, about 2 hours.

Strain into a bowl.

Remove solids for snacking.

Refrigerate broth for up to 3 days.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Place turkey in large roasting pan, breast side up.

Add some onion to turkey neck cavity, close loose skin over and tuck wings under back.

Add remaining onion and parsley to body cavity; close loose skin over.

Rub oil all over, then season well with pepper and salt.

Carefully pour 2 cups of broth into pan.

Roast, 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Continue roasting turkey, turning pan as needed for even browning.

After about 2 hours, insert thermometer into thickest part of thigh but not touching bone.

When turkey temperature reads 160 degrees, increase oven temperature to 450 degrees; roast until skin browns, about 10 minutes.

Carefully remove turkey to a cutting board; tent loosely with foil.

Let stand about 15 minutes; temperature will rise about 10 more degrees, getting it above the recommended safe temperature of 165 degrees.

For the pan sauce

Meanwhile set roasting pan with pan juices directly on burners.

Heat to a boil while scraping up browned bits at bottom of pan.

Remove onion and parsley from turkey.

Carefully blend into pan sauce with immersion blender, or chop well then add.

Add remaining broth only as needed.

Reduce until thickened as desired.

Off heat, add bourbon; season with salt, pepper and vinegar to taste.

Serve turkey with pan sauce, finished with freshly ground black pepper and smoked salt to taste.