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Two Perfect Turkeys

Posted on November 18, 2008 by Glutenfreeda

This Thanksgiving we are delighted to bring you two spectacular roasted turkey recipes that are sure to impress even the most sophisticated of turkey experts. The first is marinated in a honey brine solution over-night, which produces an unbelievable succulent bird that is juicy and flavorful all the way through.

The second is a wonderful maple glazed turkey. This turkey is marinated over-night in a marinade of maple, spices, lemon juice, shallots, garlic and thyme. The marinade imparts a tender moist turkey with unbelievable taste throughout.

Honey Brined Turkey Stuffed with Lemons & Thyme

  • 1- 20 pound turkey
  • 8 quarts water
  • 2 cups coarse salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 bunches of fresh thyme
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 cups gf chicken broth for basting

For gravy:

  • 1 cup pan drippings
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 Tablespoons gf flour
  • 4-5 cups gf chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper

Rinse turkey and place in a large, heavy plastic bag. Place turkey in the bag in a large stockpot. In a large bowl, add water, salt and honey and mix until the salt dissolves. Add 1 bunch of thyme, garlic and pepper and blend. Pour the brine into the bag with the turkey. Gather the bag up tightly around the turkey and secure it so that the air is removed and the turkey is covered with the brine. Place the pot in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Drain the turkey and discard the brine. Pat the turkey dry inside and out. Squeeze the juice from the lemons inside the cavity and place the lemon halves along with the remaining bunch of thyme inside the cavity. Tuck the wings under the back and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the turkey breast down on a rack in a large roasting pan. Rub the turkey all over with olive oil. Roast the turkey for 1 hour and baste with chicken broth. Continue to roast for 1-1/2 more hours then remove the turkey from the oven and turn turkey breast side up. Place back in the oven and continue roasting, basting with chicken broth every 30 minutes until done. Turkey is done when internal temperature reaches 170-180 degrees F. with an inserted meat thermometer. Remove from oven to a platter, tent with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.

For gravy:

Remove fat from turkey drippings with a baster. Heat drippings over medium heat. Place 1 cup chicken broth and 4 Tablespoons flour in a small container with a lid and shake vigorously until blended. Pour flour mixture into simmering drippings and stir until mixture begins to thicken. Add about 4 cups chicken stock and cream and continue to stir. For desired consistency, add more of the flour/chicken stock mixture to thicken, or more chicken stock to thin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roast Turkey with Maple Glaze
(serves 6)


  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 6 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • One 13 lb. free-range turkey
  • 3 medium onions, coarsely diced
  • 3 medium celery ribs, coarsely diced
  • 2 carrots, coarsely diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Maple Butter:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Maple Glaze:
  • 6 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 Tablespoon gf flour
  • 2 cups gf chicken stock or turkey stock
  • Freshly ground black pepper & salt to taste

Rinse turkey and place in a large, heavy plastic bag. Place turkey in the bag in a large stockpot or a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, orange juice, canola oil, shallots, sliced onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, lemon zest and black pepper. Pour mixture into the bag with the turkey. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Marinate in the refrigerator 24 hours, rotating occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the Maple Butter. Place the butter, maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until blended. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate. (Remove from the refrigerator at least 2 hours before turkey goes in the oven.)

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the maple glaze; maple syrup, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Position the oven rack near the bottom of the oven. Remove the turkey from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and wipe the turkey dry with paper towels. Using your fingers, carefully loosen the turkey skin over the breast and legs. Spoon half of the Maple Butter under the skin, patting gently to spread the butter evenly. Season the inside of the cavity with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stuff the cavity with half of the celery, onions, and carrots. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Set the turkey breast side up, in a roasting pan. Rub the outside of the turkey with half of the Maple Butter. Invert, breast side down, and continue to rub with the remaining Maple Butter. Place the turkey in the oven, breast side down, for 30 minutes, basting twice. (The skin may appear dark in patches — this is OK and is just due to the maple syrup in the marinade and the caramelization of the butter.) Cover the turkey loosely with foil to prevent the skin from burning.

Strain the reserved marinade, reserving the shallots, onion and herbs in a separate bowl.

Lower the oven temperature to 350°F. Spread the remaining onions, celery and carrots around the turkey and continue to roast for 30 minutes. After the turkey has been in the oven for 1 hour, turn the turkey over, breast side up, and continue to roast, basting frequently for an additional hour or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 180°F. During the last 30 minutes of cooking time, remove the foil. Add the reserved shallots, onions and herbs from the marinade to the roasting pan and baste the turkey twice with the Maple Glaze. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and tent with foil to keep warm.

While the turkey is resting, make the gravy. Set the roasting pan over 2 burners over high heat. Cook the vegetables, stirring, until golden brown. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan. Add the gf flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add the reserved marinade and the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. Strain the gravy into a saucepan and boil over high heat until the gravy is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Carve the turkey. Serve the gravy alongside the turkey.

We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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