Time: 2 to 3 hours, plus 15 to 30 minutes to rest. One method, three flavor choices: Just pick the seasonings that go best with the rest of your feast. Grilling gives the bird a really crisp, brown skin—plus it frees up your oven so you can cook everything else.
1 turkey (12 to 24 lbs.)
Olive or vegetable oil
Sage Butter Glaze, Chile Orange Glaze, or Brown Sugar Crackle Glaze (recipes follow)
How to Make It
Remove and discard leg truss from turkey. Pull off and discard lumps of fat. Remove giblets and neck. Rinse bird inside and out and pat dry.
Rub turkey skin with oil. Insert a meat thermometer straight down through thickest part of the breast to bone (if using an instant-read thermometer, insert later).
Prepare grill for indirect medium heat (325° to 350°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds): If using charcoal, light 40 briquets on firegrate. When coals are covered with ash, about 20 minutes, bank evenly on opposite sides of firegrate and let burn to medium. Place a metal or sturdy foil drip pan (about 9 by 12 in. and 2 1/2 in. deep) between coals. To each mound of coals, add 5 briquets now and every 30 minutes while cooking; if needed, keep grill uncovered for a few minutes to help briquets ignite. If using gas, remove cooking grate and turn all burners to high. Close lid and heat 10 minutes. Then turn off 1 burner and lower other(s) to medium. Set a metal or sturdy foil drip pan on turned-off burner. Replace cooking grate. (For either charcoal or gas, if drippings flare when lid is open, add some water to drip pan).
Set turkey, breast up, on cooking grate over drip pan and cover grill. Cook turkey according to glaze directions.
Using 2 large spatulas, transfer cooked turkey to a platter. Cover loosely with foil and let rest 15 to 30 minutes.
Carve bird. If thighs are still pink at the joint, microwave them until pinkness disappears, 1 to 3 minutes.
Sage Butter Glaze: In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 tsp. minced fresh sage leaves, and 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice. When turkey has about 45 more minutes to cook (breast temperature at the bone will be about 135° for birds up to 18 lbs. and about 145° for larger ones), baste often with butter. Cook, sliding folded strips of foil between bird and grate if edges of turkey begin to get toodark, until thermometer registers °. Makes enough for a 12- to 24-lb. turkey.
Per 1/4-lb. serving (white and dark meat with skin and Sage Butter Glaze): Calories 243 (44% from fat); Protein 32g; Fat 12g (sat 9g); Carb 1g; Fiber 0g; Sodium 97mg; Chol 97mg.
Chile Orange Glaze: In a small bowl, combine 3 tbsp. ground dried New Mexico or California chiles*, 1 can (12 oz.; 1 1/2 cups) thawed orange juice concentrate, 2 tbsp. finely shredded orange zest, and 1 tsp. ground cumin. When turkey has about 20 more minutes to cook (breast temperature at the bone will be about 150° for birds up to 18 lbs. and about 155° for larger ones), coat generously with the glaze. Cook, sliding folded strips of foil between bird and grate if edges of turkey begin to get too dark, and draping any other dark areas with foil, until thermometer registers 160°. Makes enough for a 12- to 24-lb. turkey.
*Find ground chiles in the Latino-foods aisle of your supermarket.
Per 1/4-lb. serving (white and dark meat with skin and Chile Orange Glaze: Calories 245 (37% from fat); Protein 32g; Fat 10g (sat 3g); Carb 7g; Fiber 2g; Sodium 87mg; Chol 93mg.
Brown Sugar Crackle Glaze: In a small bowl, mix 2 cups packed light brown sugar, 5 tbsp. Dijon mustard, and 2 tsp. coarsely and freshly ground black pepper. When turkey has about 45 more minutes to cook (breast temperature at the bone will be about 135° for birds up to 18 lbs. and about 145° for larger ones), spread with half the glaze. Cook 20 minutes. Brush with remaining glaze and cook, sliding folded strips of foil between bird and grate if edges of turkey begin to get too dark, and draping any other dark areas with foil, until thermometer registers 160°. Makes enough for a 12- to 24-lb. turkey.
Per 1/4-lb. serving (white and dark meat with skin and Brown Sugar Crackle Glaze): Calories 265 (34% from fat); Protein 32g; Fat 10g (sat 3g); Carb 9g; Fiber 0g; Sodium 123mg; Chol 93mg.
We went to our sons house for Thanksgiving and his partner used this recipe and sage glaze. We are now using it ourselves for Christmas. Perhaps a new tradition! Chipolte potatoes, cauliflower casserole, and good wine your preference.
This is a review of the glaze.
Loved the Chili Orange Glaze.
I actually brined our turkey as usual instead of the recipe you included and cooked it on the barbecue spit slow and easy.
Interesting note: The flavor of the glaze worked it's way into the turkey soup I always make the day after and gave it an interesting hint of the flavors.
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