Bourbon Sweet Tea Turkey with Molasses Glaze


Bourbon Sweet Tea Turkey with Molasses Glaze

Photo by James Acomb

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
  1. In a large stock pot over medium-low heat, combine all ingredients for brine and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  2. Prep turkey by removing from packaging and discarding turkey trimmings or save to be cooked later.
  3. Submerge turkey in brine. If turkey floats, weight down with a heavy plate or platter. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours; turning once.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!

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