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Old Fashioned" Roast Turkey


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  • 10 pound turkey (neck and gizzards reserved)
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1-2 navel oranges (quartered)
  • 1 onion (peeled and quartered)
  • small bundle fresh thyme
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 3 dashes bitters
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cloves (whole)



Step 1

The day before roasting, rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water, set on a clean kitchen towel, and pat dry.
2 Season the turkey inside and out with the salt. Wrap the turkey in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
3 Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours prior to roasting to bring to room temperature.
4 Preheat the oven to 425ºF and place on the lowest oven shelf.;
5 In the turkey’s neck cavity, place some of the orange wedges, onion, and thyme. Wrap the neck skin over and around the cavity to enclose the seasoning ingredients. In the body cavity, place the remaining orange wedges, onions, thyme and the cinnamon stick.
6 Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack set into a large roasting pan. Fold the wings and tuck the tips underneath the bird.
7 In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the bourbon, bitters, maple and cloves to the pot. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer, and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, until slightly reduced. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
8 When the butter mixture is cool enough to handle, soak a double layer of cheesecloth, big enough to cover the bird, and drape over the breast and legs of the turkey. Pour the remaining contents of the pan over the bird and add the neck and gizzards to the bottom of the roasting pan.
9 Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 375ºF, and continue to roast for another 15 to 20 minutes per pound (removing the cheesecloth for the final 10 minutes to brown, if needed), or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the thigh registers 160ºF (about 3 hours). Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

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