Thanksgiving Turkey with Cider Glaze
Although tempting, stay away for disposable aluminum pans if you can for cooking your turkey. The best pan for cooking a turkey is a heavy-duty roasting pan with about 2-inch sides. High sides can make basting difficult. Heavy-gauge metal helps keep the drippings from burning. Look for a stainless-steel finish on the pan’s interior: nonstick makes for easy cleanup.
Start with your cider glaze, and read my tips carefully for the perfect bird!
Ingredients for Glaze
4 cups of unfiltered apple cider
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1 tbsp of ancho chile powder
kosher salt and ground pepper
¾ cup cubed butter
Directions for Glaze
In a medium saucepan, bring cider to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 25 minutes or until reduced by half.
Whisk in butter until melted, remove from heat, and whisk in mustard and chile powder. Add salt and pepper allow to rest for minimum 30 minutes (or better yet make ahead and refrigerate, covered. Just bring to room temp before using day of.) Set aside.
Ingredients for Turkey
(for 20lbs turkey; serves 16 people)
20lb fresh turkey, patted dry (neck and giblets removed)
15 tbsp of unsalted butter
14 cups of chicken broth (homemade is best)
4 large carrots peeled, cut into 2 inch pieces
4 Llarge celery stalks, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 large onions, quartered
4 large shallots, quartered
Directions for Turkey
Remove turkey from refrigerator 90 minutes before going into oven so bird comes to room temp. Pat turkey dry and season cavity and entire turkey liberally with kosher salt and pepper. Rub bird generously with butter and olive oil and brush on glaze. Stuff herb sprigs in cavity.
Place carrots, onions, shallots, and celery at bottom of the pan and place roasting rack on top. Put turkey on rack and place in oven.
Put the turkey in the oven so its legs are pointing back away from the door because the legs tend to cook slower than the breast. If the roasting pan will only fit in horizontally, be sure to rotate it halfway through cooking so both sides of the turkey cook evenly.
Low and slow is the best way to go. 325 from start to finish. Steer clear of starting off on high heat because you run the risk of forgetting to lower the heat.
Keep broth nearby and check on turkey every 45 minutes. Add broth, if needed, and brush with glaze every hour.
If the bird is browning quickly but not near its target temperature of 170°F, tent loosely with foil and continue roasting. If the drippings seem to be getting too dark, add a couple tablespoons of liquid to keep them from burning.