Gluten Free Honey Soy Glazed Turkey Recipe
What would Thanksgiving be without turkey? I honestly have no answer for that. Well, actually yes I do. Let me tell you a little story.
Traditionally, I have always hosted Thanksgiving at my house. Admittedly, it is a lot of work but I love to do it and my family has come to expect it. However, one year my father decided to host Thanksgiving. Wow! A Thanksgiving with nothing to do but get dressed and arrive – sounded like a pretty good deal to me.
The family and I arrived, the house looked lovely and festive and we were greeted with cocktails, mocktails for the kids, and yummy appetizers. And then it was time for dinner. We all sat down at the table and what were we served? Ham! OK, I like ham, so it was no big deal for me. However – my kids were privately having holiday meltdowns. They were polite and gracious at Dad’s but once we got in the car, the complaints started and lasted the entire 45 minute drive home. “Ham? That’s not Thanksgiving. We look forward to a traditional Thanksgiving meal all year – what’s up with the ham?” The ranting went on and on. So much so that the next day I woke up early, went to the store, bought everything I needed to prepare a full-on Thanksgiving meal – including turkey – and invited some friends over and proceeded to cook. So much for a cook-free Thanksgiving. So, at least at my home, that’s what Thanksgiving without turkey is like.
I like to brine my turkeys; they are just so much more moist and flavorful. This honey soy glazed turkey is a recipe I came up with earlier this year that I love. It is simple and has this beautiful burnished, almost lacquered look to it. I cook this turkey un-stuffed – much quicker that way.
I like to use fresh, organic turkeys but if you buy a frozen one, make sure it is gluten free, as some are not, and defrost it before brining. If you don’t have room to hold your turkey in the fridge, you can put it in an ice chest packed with ice to keep it cold while it defrosts.
Gluten Free Honey Soy Glazed Turkey Recipe
1 (12-pound) turkey
2 cups kosher salt
2 ¼ cups honey, divided
1 ¼ cup San-J Tamari, divided
1 cup molasses
2 oranges, cut into wedges
1 bunch fresh sage
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
6 cups ice
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, at room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper
Gluten free non-stick cooking spray
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey. Save for another use or discard. Rinse the turkey well inside and out.
Combine 6 cups of water with the salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Stir in 2 cups honey, 1 cup tamari, the molasses, orange wedges, sage, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and peppercorns. Add the ice and stir until it melts. Pour the mixture into a pot or bucket large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in, breast side down, and add enough cold water so that the turkey is fully covered with the mixture, stirring the water in to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 12 hours. Remove the turkey from the brine, discard the brine, rinse the turkey with cold water, dry the skin and cavities well, and let the turkey sit at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Rub the butter generously all over the turkey. Sprinkle with pepper. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and tie the legs together with kitchen string. You can also tuck the wings under the bird, if desired.
Roast for 1 hour, then cover the turkey with a piece of foil sprayed with gluten free non-stick cooking spray to keep the turkey from getting too dark. Roast for another 45 minutes, then start checking the internal temperature of the turkey with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. You want the temperature to reach 165 degrees; this will take about 2 – 2 ½ hours total.
While the turkey is roasting, make a glaze by combining the remaining ¼ cup honey, ¼ cup soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar in a small but deep saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until it becomes as thick as molasses, about 5 minutes. The glaze needs to be thick or it will not adhere to the turkey.
Once the turkey reaches 165 degrees, remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Brush the turkey with about 1/3 of the glaze and return to the oven, cook for 2 minutes, then glaze again with half the remaining glaze. Cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven, place it on a cutting board or serving platter, give it a final brush with the glaze, tent with foil, and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
This Gluten Free Honey Soy Glazed Turkey recipe serves 6 generously with leftovers.
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