The Gleeful Gourmand: F&W's Bourbon-Glazed Turkey

Thursday, December 19, 2013

F&W's Bourbon-Glazed Turkey

It's six days until Christmas, and the race is on to craft the perfect holiday menu. Six days, and we haven't settled on one thing to serve. Oh, except that I'm supposed to make the Bouche De Noel again. I tried to get out of it by suggesting other things, but apparently that's what the people wanted, so that's what the people are getting.

But everything else is up in the air. Main course? Nothing. Side dishes? Nada. Festive holiday drink? Nil. Nary a decision has been made. Christmas is the meal we typically go all out for. We push the envelope on what we serve because Thanksgiving tends to have a way of making us stick to traditions. People get angry if you start messing around with their Thanksgiving expectations, but in our family the Christmas feast is a culinary free-for-all (except for the damned Yule Log, apparently. I joke, Mom, I joke).

You may be stuck in the same predicament, and I'm about to make a suggestion that will leave you scratching your head: Turkey. Yes. Turkey. Why turkey, I hear you say. Didn't we just have turkey? You may well have had turkey, but you have not had this turkey - a turkey to end all turkeys. A turkey that puts all others to shame. A turkey, that if it had not had all its plumage plucked out would certainly be fanning and fawning over its own greatness.

Plus, I submit the classic line from "The Christmas Song" which quite rightly says, "Everybody knows, a turkey and some mistletoe help to make the season bright." See what I did there?

Bourbon-Glazed Turkey (with Pearl Onion Giblet Gravy).

Bourbon-Glazed Turkey with Pearl Onion Giblet Gravy. We made this recipe from Food & Wine Magazine for Thanksgiving, and oh my goodness, was it amazing. We changed the recipe slightly - instead of the brine they suggested (which uses apple cider - my husband is allergic to apples), we used a different overnight brine which you can find below. The brining is important because that's what gets your turkey so mouthwateringly tender and juicy.

But the best part about this turkey is how it's basted with a bourbon and brown sugar glaze while it cooks, giving it a rich, golden brown hue. I'm not going to lie to you and say it wasn't a lot of work. It was. Needing to be basted every 15 minutes for 3 hours, this turkey takes some TLC. But it's so worth it. The aroma of bourbon, sugar, and butter lovingly bathing the turkey as it roasts is overwhelming. In fact, our house smelled so good I was practically fainting from hunger by lunchtime. It hisses, it pops, it practically sings for you as you watch the skin take on that caramelized glow. But don't be deceived by the perceived richness of the sauce - the bird is also stuffed with all your favorite aromatics like onions, celery, carrots, rosemary and thyme. Softened butter and sage leaves are tucked beneath the skin.

The end result is a turkey that's savory, slightly sweet, and so delicious that it barely needed the gravy, which boasts a whole head of roasted garlic. Christmas Feast indeed!


Honey Turkey Brine Recipe -- Click: Here

Food & Wine's Bourbon-Glazed Turkey -- Click: Here

Enjoy!

2 comments :

Kirsten Oliphant said...

That looks so good! This year David did our turkeys and he did a wet and dry brine and the dry brine (which I hadn't heard of) was even BETTER than the wet brine! If you ever want to change up the prep part, I'd highly suggest it. I love this idea of taste...but not so much all the work. Boo.

Jenna said...

I'll definitely have to take on the dry brine next time! It's become very popular lately. Don't worry about the work, it's not so bad if you just set the timer and have helpers. I promise it's so very, very worth it.

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