February 8, 2010

Paula Dean's Roasted Turkey with Maple Cranberry Glaze

I know I'm going a little backwards here, but in case you were thinking of making a turkey any time soon (maybe?), I wanted to share with you the turkey recipe I used this past Thanksgiving! This was my first year hosting Thanksgiving (which also means my first time making a turkey!), in our apartment! Our best friends flew up to spend the holiday with us and I prepared myself for their arrival by watching all of Food Network's Thanksgiving specials and leafing through Thanksgiving special edition cooking magazines. I DVR'ed one of Paula Dean's Thanksgiving episodes and it so happened to be the one where she made a buttery, garlicky, spread for her turkey. It looked so easy and so full of flavor! I immediately bookmarked her recipe but kept my eyes out for another turkey recipe, just in case. Needless to say, I'm glad I went with her recipe in the end. It was d i v i n e.

Now, we did add a bit to Paula Dean's recipe. First, we brined the turkey overnight in a huge pot of salted water and basil (thanks to Kim for telling us this secret!). We made sure to turn the turkey upside down so that both sides could brine equally in the water. Then we followed Paula's directions exactly and stuffed it with oranges and apples, as you can see in the picture. When the turkey started to brown up a bit in the oven, we covered it loosely with tin foil and used a thermometer just to be sure our turkey was done.

The hubbs beginning to carve the turkey. The meat fell right off the bones.

The glaze was ready before the turkey was done, as we used it to baste the turkey during it's final hour (not in the recipe, but we thought it would be a good idea). The glaze was super easy to make; we used dried cranberries, apple cranberry juice (couldn't find apple cider vinegar), and the rest of the ingredients in Paula's recipe. It was d e l i c i o u s!

This will always be my go-to recipe for a Thanksgiving turkey!

Paula Dean's Roasted Turkey with Maple Cranberry Glaze

Difficulty: Moderate (time consuming, it is a turkey!)
Taste: Divine
Overall Satisfaction: Mouth-watering



  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves
  • 1 (15-pound) turkey
  • Stuffing, if desired


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (12-ounce bag) cranberries
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small mixing bowl combine the butter, House Seasoning, parsley, shallots, and garlic. Thoroughly rinse and dry the turkey. Tuck the wings underneath the body and place the turkey in a roasting pan. Rub the butter mixture all over the turkey. Stuff, if desired.

Roast for 18 minutes per pound (including stuffing weight, if using). The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (and deep into the stuffing) and registers 165 degrees F. and the juices run clear. Remove from the oven and loosely tent with foil. Let rest for 20 minutes before carving.


Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer until the cranberries burst, about 8 to 10 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve and let cool. Reserve for turkey.

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Recipe taken from the Food Network.

Want to know what other recipes I used on Thanksgiving? Go here, here, and here.

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