To be perfectly honest with you Turkey is my forte. When the family rotation rolls around to my address every few years, let’s just say it is looked upon with great anticipation. In years past in order to get out of Turkey duty, I have gone so far as to declare it “Tacky Thanksgiving” with a menu of Chinese take-out served on the finest of Thanksgiving paper plates. It was a big hit and something I felt worth repeating, but last year with all of my offspring out on their own, the request for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner created an accident in my kitchen producing a turkey worthy of many repeats.
In an effort to be a little more exotic while at the same time taking into consideration finicky palates and my laziness factor, I decided to experiment with an apple, cranberry concoction known to meet the various taste requirements which had been prepared and canned during the summer, meeting the laziness requirement. The most difficult part of this recipe is the glaze, but once you have made it, it will keep for months and prove a versatile condiment for much more than turkey .This tangy turkey glaze can be made well ahead but will deliver the appearance and taste of a great amount of work.
4 medium peeled and seeded oranges sectioned and roughly chopped
2 lbs cranberries
4 large apples cored but not peeled
4 cups of sugar
1 cup water
1 TBSP fresh minced ginger or 1 tsp powder
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed cloves
Zest from one orange
In a heavy sauce pan cook over low heat stirring frequently until apples and cranberries become soft but not mushy. Approximately 30-45 minutes. This recipe yields 4 pints, 1 pint will be sufficient to glaze 12-16 lb turkey, the remaining portion can be frozen or canned for later use as a spread, relish, or over ice cream.
With the hard part over the rest is easy, much easier if you prepared the glaze well in advance. Prepare the turkey with the ritual Thanksgiving Day bath, pat dry, and place on rack in roasting pan, salt and pepper using sea, or kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper according to taste. I’m not a big fan of cooking the stuffing inside the bird; instead I like to fill that gaping cavity up with fresh herbs, a few sprigs each of rosemary, sage, and thyme. Pop the bird into a 350 degree oven and cook 20 minutes/lb. stuffed birds may require 25minutes/lb. In the last hour of cooking generously apply the glaze every 15 minutes. Don’t be afraid to baste over it. Anything falling into the bottom of the pan is well just gravy. Enjoy!