turkeyI love Food & Wine magazine with all the beautiful recipes and wonderful cooking and entertaining tips, not to mention the wine. So when this year’s Thanksgiving edition has the recipe for Bourbon-Glazed Turkey with Pearl Onion Giblet Gravy, I just had to give it a try.

turkey and sunflowersThis is one of those rare times that I mostly followed the recipe because I wanted to be able to give it a fair review. I always hate when I see people review a recipe and they changed everything about it or didn’t even cook it at all. Not only is it not fair to the recipe creator, it’s just right down rude. So you won’t see too many changes on this one other than to switch up the water for the bottom of the roasting pan with chicken stock and I allowed the turkey time to dry from the brining before roasting to help give the perfect crispy skin. I also tossed from extra herbs into the roasting cavity.

Side view of turkeyI have to admit to being a little disappointed with the end results. While the turkey was very juicy and cooked to perfection, I wanted more flavor then I got. The bourbon and brown sugar flavor didn’t come through all that well on the skin. I just wanted more instead of the very light flavors it had. Hubby was to the same opinion and as he pointed out, the apple cider from the brine also did not come through that well.

bourbon Glazed TurkeyI ended up not making the giblet gravy at the end, so I cannot review that because I was so disappointed with the flavor of the turkey. For those who like a mild flavored and very juicy turkey, the recipe will fit the bill. But I just don’t think it was really worth the effort as the recipe is written. I am considering trying it again and here are the changes I would make. Switch the apple cider to hard cider and double the amount of cider and the herbs in the brine. Add a quarter of cup of peppercorns to the brine as it’s cooking and reduce the added water by 2 cups to compensate for the extra cider.

Turkey with BourbonFinally, I would add 2 cups of bourbon to a pan and reduce by half, then add in the brown sugar with a half of cup of butter to make the glaze. Cut up another half cup of butter into slivers and slide them carefully up under the skin of the turkey after it’s dry to allow it to self-baste under the skin. These changes should add the missing flavor and turn out a beautiful turkey.

Just remember to cook your turkey properly and allow it to rest at least 30 minutes before slicing. For those who need more tips for carving and roasting the turkey check out last year’s blog on that subject.

Bourbon-Glazed Turkey with Pearl Onion Giblet Gravy (Original Recipe from Food & Wine)

One 15-pound turkey—heart, gizzard and liver chopped and reserved
2 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
2 cups dark brown sugar
3 rosemary sprigs
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch sage
3 pounds ice cubes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
10 garlic cloves
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons canola oil
One 12-ounce bag frozen pearl onions, thawed
3 cups turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Mashed Roasted Garlic

Click here for directions and see my tips above for suggested changes.

More exciting turkey recipes:

Cajun Roasted Turkey Recipe from Average Betty

The Triple Decker Turkey Club from the Cozy Apron (for using leftovers)

Pumpkin Glazed Turkey Legs from Bakeaholic Mama

Perfect Turkey from My Delicious Meals

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast from Oh, Sweet Basil

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