Turkey was a food my husband claimed he was not that “into”. I think this is about as unAmerican as is humanly possible so I felt the need to remedy it. I had a hankering for maple syrup and turkey sausage recently (as a person who wrote a dissertation about Canadian politics is wont to do) and then thought “hey, a maple glazed turkey would be great”. So, I got to thinking about what I could do to make a turkey glaze. The thing is, while I love my sweets, I want some savory with sweet. I had found a number of recipes for a maple and chili glaze over pork. This made sense because a couple of my favorite stouts are chili and maple infused. I have been trying to get my husband on board with a chili, cocoa, maple, bourbon stout for awhile (it seems like a lot but I am a stout genius). Still, we don’t eat pork but turkey is a good sub for pork. So, I decided to start there. I read a million recipes it seemed before I decided to do something innovative and incredibly simple all on my own. It was a shot in the dark but it paid off. This recipe uses one of my favorite spice blends – a Tandoori blend that Weber makes. You can use a Masala blend if you can’t find a specific “Tandoori” blend or if you have made your own Masala mix, kudos, use that! The only ingredients you will need (minus some corn starch if you make the gravy) are shown here.
This recipe, on its own, is a thing of beauty, but do yourself a favor and also make the gravy to go with it. I am not a gravy person. However, my husband thinks this gravy is hall-of-fame worthy. Now is a great time to make this because Aldi has boneless breasts for $8.00 right now and I just got 4 lb of tenderloin roasts for $11.00 at the grocery on special to make this batch. This recipe is so impressive yet so simple that it would spice up any thanksgiving meal and it makes fantastic leftovers and sandwiches.
Ingredients for the Turkey
3-4 lb of boneless turkey breast or turkey tenderloin roast
¾ c of maple syrup
3 teaspoons of tandoori spice blend or to taste
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
Sea salt and pepper
- This step is optional but I think it produces the best result. Pat the meat down Season the turkey with salt and pepper and let sit uncovered in the fridge for an hour. This will help it crisp in the oven.
- Mix the maple and spices. Taste it to determine how hot you want it to be.
- Coat the turkey in the maple and spice glaze on both sides at least 1 hour prior to cooking an cover in the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place in a dutch oven or roasting pan with 2 tbs coconut oil. You want to use a high heat oil here (coconut or sunflower are great choices).
- Once the oven is hot and so is the oil, put the turkey in and reglaze the tops. Keep in the oven for 10 min.
- After 15 min, flip turkey if you are using tenderloins and reglaze. Otherwise just reglaze. Reduce heat to 300 degrees for 10 minutes for a smaller roast (check temperature) and 20-30 minutes for a larger roast. You want to check the temp every 5-10 minutes to see when it reaches 165 F. When it does, pull the roast. Reglaze as you near that temp with the rest of the mixture. Just dump it all in!
- Let the turkey rest for 5-10 minutes tented or covered.
- Cut up into beautiful pieces and serve (preferably with gravy!)
For the gravy:
- You’ve got a couple of options to make a base. I made a gravy base using the Better than Bullion method of making poultry gravy. I used chicken but you can use chicken or turkey. You can also just use a turkey packet or use stock. It’s up to you. I always, always have Better than Bullion on hand so I do it this way since it’s so fast.
- Mix the drippings with the base after you set the turkey aside (this is why dutch ovens are the best). Whisk as it heats up. It will boil. Let it boil for 3 minutes then reduce heat to low as you carve your turkey. This takes almost no time but it is SO GOOD.
When in doubt, get more turkey and keep leftovers. You’ll thank me. If you want to meal prep using this, I recommend making some good sides and going for it! My husband hates leftovers but will willingly (and gladly) eat this on sandwiches. It makes fabulous sandwiches. 4 lbs would probably feed about 6 people easily. This pairs well with asparagus, we’ve found (but what doesn’t?) and the Quick ‘n Dirty Maple Bread I make. Even Baby R approves! So, if you are looking for a quick Thanksgiving turkey option for a small gathering or the best Friendsgiving entry ever, try this. You won’t regret it!