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Whole bourbon glazed turkey, surrounded by sliced oranges and sage

Bourbon Glazed Turkey

We're comin' in HOT with this Bourbon Glazed Turkey! This recipe is a great way to spice up your traditional turkey meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people


  • 1 turkey 14-16 pounds
  • 6 cups poultry broth divided
  • 1 cup kosher salt plus 1 teaspoon for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoon sage fresh
  • 2 tablespoon thyme fresh
  • 2 tablespoon rosemary fresh
  • ½ teaspoon pepper ground
  • 1 onion halved
  • 1 garlic head tip sliced off
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 celery rib chopped
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon paprika ground


  • Remove turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to roasting. Removed the innards from the turkey. Place turkey breast side down in a pot large enough for it to be entirely submerged.
  • In a large stock pot, combine 2 cups of poultry broth, salt, sage, thyme, and rosemary. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add 1 gallon of ice water. Allow brine to cool to room temperature, then pour over turkey. Refrigerate overnight. 
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F and set the oven rack to the lowest shelf.
  • Carefully remove the turkey from brine and pat dry. Discard brine.
  • Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper. Fill cavity with onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. If some vegetables remain, add to the bottom of roasting pan.
  • Pour 4 cups of poultry broth into the bottom of the roasting pan. Place a V-shaped roasting rack in the pan. Place turkey on roasting rack, breast side up.
  • Transfer turkey to the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine butter, bourbon, brown sugar, orange zest and paprika. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once sugar has fully dissolved and glaze has reduced by approx. half (5-6 minutes), reduce heat and keep warm. 
  • Once turkey has roasted for 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 350°F. Brush the turkey with approx. ¼ of the glaze. Continue cooking, brushing it every 30 minutes with additional glaze, until it  reaches an internal temperature of 170°F (approx. 3 hours). Add an additional 1-2 cups of water halfway through roasting. 
  • Remove turkey from the oven and transfer to a baking sheet. Tent turkey loosely with foil and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Carve turkey and serve. Enjoy!
Keyword Holiday meal, Holiday Recipes, Turkey
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