This is our first Thanksgiving in the RV and I knew I was going to fix a turkey no matter what. We have a convection oven and I knew the only hurdle I would need to overcome was the size of the turkey.
I saw a recipe about butterflying a turkey and I knew I had found my solution. Once butterflied, the glaze applied beautifully leaving us with a moist tender turkey.
12 lb. turkey
2 Tbls. salt
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups apple juice
1 cup whole fresh cranberries
¾ cup Maple Syrup
1 Tbls. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbls. mustard
Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse the inside of the turkey and pat dry. Place the turkey breast side down on a non-slippery surface.
With a sharp knife cut close against the backbone on both sides to remove. You may need to use scissors to cut through some of the parts but with patience you will get it done.
Flip the turkey over and using the palms of your hands, one on top of the other, press down on the breast bone until you hear it pop. The turkey will now lie flatter.
Using your fingers, or the handle of a wooden spoon, gently separate the skin from the meat of the turkey on the breast and thighs. Take a fork and prick the breast and thighs all over.
Mix together half of the salt and pepper and rub over the back of the turkey on the meat and bones. Flip the turkey over and rub salt under the skin on the breast and thighs. Turn the wings of the turkey under the breast and tie the legs with twine and tuck under bottom of breast.
Blot the top of the turkey dry. Mix together the rest of the salt and pepper and add baking powder. Sprinkle over the top of turkey. Using your hands rub the mixture into the skin.
Peel and cut the onions in half. Place each half under the top of the breast and bottom of the breast to lift the turkey up from the pan. Let the turkey sit too dry for about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees and bake the turkey for 3 hours or until thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of the breast.
Remove from oven and let rest for 1 – 1 ½ hours.
While turkey is resting mix together in a medium pan the apple juice, cranberries, maple syrup, grated ginger and mustard. Stir over medium heat until boiling. Let boil gently for thirty minutes or until reduced in half.
Side Note: Be careful while stirring the mixture because the berries will be popping and can splatter and burn.
When the glaze is done, pour through a fine sieve into another bowl. Mash the mixture in the sieve to get as much juice as possible.
Turn oven up to 450 degrees. Brush the glaze on the turkey and bake for 10 minutes.
Glaze the turkey again and bake for another 10 minutes. Glaze one last time and bake for the final 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before slicing.
Use remaining glaze to pass at the table and drizzle over turkey.
We will be doing this turkey for many years to come. The flavors seemed to meld perfectly between the natural juices of the turkey and the cranberry maple glaze.
This recipe produces a moist subtly flavored turkey that can’t be beat. Part of that secret is the slow cooking in the beginning and the final blast of heat at the end. The baking powder helps to crisp the skin of the turkey and keeps the juices in. This was the perfect recipe for our first Thanksgiving in the RV.