Bourbon Sweet Tea Turkey with Molasses Glaze
INGREDIENTS: Serves 8-12
For the brine:
- 1 gallon sweet tea
- 1 gallon water
- 2 cups bourbon
- 1 cup salt
- 2 onions, quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, halved
- 2 tablespoons mustard seed
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
- 1 bunch rosemary
- 1 bunch thyme
For the turkey:
- 12-18 pound turkey
- Coarse salt
- Ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
- 3 onions, quartered
- 2 oranges, quartered
- 1 apple, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, halved
- 4 stalks celery, halved
For the glaze:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cups molasses
- 1 cup bourbon
- In a large stock pot over medium-low heat, combine all ingredients for brine and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Prep turkey by removing from packaging and discarding turkey trimmings or save to be cooked later.
- Submerge turkey in brine. If turkey floats, weight down with a heavy plate or platter. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours; turning once.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove turkey from brine. Pat turkey dry; place in a large roasting pan atop roasting rack. Sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Spread butter over entire turkey. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and rosemary, pressing herbs into place with a small amount of pressure. Fill the turkey cavities with onions, oranges, apple, garlic, and celery.
- Cover turkey with heavy duty foil and transfer to oven. Cook for 5 hours, basting hourly by spooning juices from the roasting pan over the turkey.
- In a small pot over medium-high heat; melt butter for glaze. Add in brown sugar; stir until dissolved. Add molasses and bourbon to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Uncover turkey for final hour of cooking, and spoon molasses glaze over turkey. Cook uncovered until golden brown in color and juices run clear. Remove from oven.
- Place on a large platter and garnish with fresh herbs, cranberries, or walnuts. Spoon additional glaze from pan over turkey.
–Recipes by Trace Barnett | Photos by James Acomb
This story appears in Birmingham magazine’s November 2017 issue. Subscribe today!