This bird’s beautifully burnished exterior and tender meat make a festive main dish that your guests will find irresistible.
Dijon-Cane Syrup Glazed Turkey
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 (12-to 14-pound) fresh or thawed frozen turkey, giblets discarded
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
- 1 small orange, quartered
- 20 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup cane syrup
- Garnish: orange slices, fresh thyme
For dry brine:
- In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients.
- Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Place turkey in a large rimmed pan; rub with dry brine. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Rinse turkey, and pat dry with paper towels. Loosen turkey skin, leaving skin intact.
- In a small bowl, stir together butter, zest, and 1 tablespoon mustard. Rub butter mixture under skin and all over turkey. Place orange, thyme, and garlic inside turkey cavity. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over turkey.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a 15-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.
- Add broth and turkey to skillet.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Bake, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of turkey registers 145°, about 1 hour. (Loosely cover with foil during last 30 minutes to prevent excess browning, if necessary.)
- In a small bowl, stir together cane syrup and remaining 3 tablespoons mustard; brush mixture all over turkey.
- Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of turkey registers 165°, about 30 minutes more. Transfer turkey to a serving platter, and loosely cover with foil. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with orange and thyme, if desired.
Cooking a whole turkey is easy, but you need to plan ahead. If you buy a frozen turkey, be sure to give the turkey enough time to fully thaw. For every pound of turkey, allow at least 6 hours of thawing in the refrigerator. The general rule for cooking unstuffed birds is 20 minutes per pound at 325°.