Turkey recipe: this Orange Spiced Turkey is moist, tender, delicious & the perfect centerpiece for your holiday meal! Easy to make & bursting with flavor.
Turkey Recipe: Orange Spiced Turkey
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In my Aromatic Lemon, Apple and Herb Turkey recipe (which is my favorite and AMAZING, by the way!!!), I said
I don’t mean to brag, but seriously, if there is a better Turkey recipe out there, I have yet to try it! Considering the results, this is a surprisingly easy yet absolutely fabulous turkey recipe.
Hahaha! I sound so conceited! However, here’s the thing of the matter: I really am proud of the recipe and for a darn good reason.
And now I’m giving you other flavor options using the same technique so that if “Lemon, Apple, and Herb” doesn’t sound like your thing (then you might be slightly crazy! But don’t worry, I get called “crazy” pretty regularly, so we can still be friends!), then you still can have a tender juicy turkey with a crisp delicious skin!
Also, if you want beautiful table and decor ideas to go with your orange spiced turkey, click here.
Oh that Crispy Skin!
I know what you’re thinking right about now—
Oh that Skin!!!
With all the heart eyes and covetous gluttoneous thoughts…
It’ what people always think when they see me…
I mean my Turkey! Ha!
Then you’ll have the thought—
How do I get that crispy golden skin on my turkey and fully cook my dark meat, without drying the crap out of the white meat?
Never fear my crazy friend (I’m not being rude here, we established we’re both crazy up above, so just read on and know I love you…), I have the answer!
Answer: Rub the skin of your bird down with your buttery fingers (after filling the meat pocket- which we will discuss in the very near future) and a little extra oil right before placing your bird in the oven. Then you cook it for 30 minutes at a super high temperature., and finally make your turkey wear a foil hat for the rest of the cooking.
He’ll feel so dapper and taste so juicy. YAY!
Steps to the Perfect Turkey
These steps can also be found in more detail within the recipe. However here is a quick overview of how to get a delicious and perfectly cooked turkey.
- Brine that baby!!! Brining a tukey infuses the meat with flavor it wouldn’t otherwise get in the cooking process.
- Put herb-butter under the skin. Using herb butter is a great way to baste the bird under the skin, adding moisture to the meat consistently throughout the entire cooking process.
- Fill the cavity with Aromatics rather than stuffing. I know that stuffing is traditional, but trust me, it’s what’s giving you a dry bird each year! Fill the cavity of the bird with aromatics and they will steam the Turkey from the inside; infusing even more flavor and moisture into the meat.
- High Roast for a bit then drop that temperature and stick a hat on your turkey! This is the most important step of all. Roasting on high crisps and goldens that skin right up for you. The meat takes longer, and the dark meat takes the longest. Covering the light meat iwht a foil hat keeps it from overcooking as the dark meat finishes it’s roasting…
- Rest before serving. Let the bird rest in a warm place for 10 to 20 minutes before serving! This will make a huge difference in the juicy-factor!
A Turkey named Blerb
If you read my Pineapple Pulled Pork recipe with the story of a Pig named Horse, then you probably got a bit nervous or excited or both when you saw that the title of this paragraph is “a turkey named Blerb”. Ha!
Don’t worry guys! This one is totally fiction!
My seven year old daughter ZeeZee likes to write books, some of the books she has written include:
- The Cow that wasn’t like the other Cows (it was hilarious by the way!)
- The Crossing Guard that wouldn’t let anybody cross (also a comedy),
- Fighting over the last banana (yeah, almost peed my pants on this one), and
- The Tazmanian Tiger who lived (this was a real tear-jerker y’all!)
Today I will be gracing you with a ZeeZee original!
Once upon a time (because all good stories start that way), there was a turkey named Blerb. His friends called him “Blerb the Turkey who Paints”, because he is a turkey and his name is Blerb. And he paints.
Everytime Blerb painted he would gather ALL the paint on his paint brush and then splatter it everywhere.
One day at his school the announcements said “There will be a painting contest the whole week.”
He worked day and night for the whole week and then presented his most colorful beautiful painting ever at the contest.
“Ahahaha! Ahahaha! Look at all those splatters! That’s an ugly painting Blerb! We should call you Blahrb instead!” said Fred the Turkey.
Blerb didn’t care because he loved his painting.
Then the principal announced that Blerb was the winner and Fred needed to come to her office. She told Fred that if he couldn’t appreciate good art and others talents then he would be sad about it.
Fred laughed at Blerb’s painting again, “Hahahaha! It looks like a baby turkey spilled their paint! We should call you Blaby instead!”
The Principle told Fred he should show others his own talents instead of laughing at Blerb’s.
That year the people ate Fred for dinner. He was very talented at tasting yummy.
And then his friends called him “Blerb the Turkey who paints really good pictures”, and no one ever made fun of Blerb’s paintings again.
The End (because every good story ends that way).
So many lessons can be found in that story, but I think the moral of the story is: The best foods were once Bully’s.
The Foil Hats
Enough talk, it’s time to eat orange spiced turkey! But real quick, here is a video that shows how to create the foil hat I keep referring to:
Recipe for the Orange Spiced Turkey:
- 1 Turkey (12-18lbs, although you can go bigger, you may have to adjust ingredients accordingly)
- 1.5 heaping cup salt
- 1.5 gallons water
- 8 bay leaves
- 1/2 c molasses -or- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 4 Oranges washed and quartered
- 2 Lemons washed and quartered
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 Tbs minced garlic
- Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, or until salt and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Herb Butter
- 1/2 cube softened butter (4 TBS Butter)
- 1 c chopped parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Garlic Salt or Garlic Powder
- Pinch of Cayenne
- Pinch of Cinnamon
- Combine all ingredients and mix well
- 1 Orange sliced
- 1 onion quartered
- 2 TBS or 3 sticks of cinnamon
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 6 sage leaves
- 1.5 c Gingerale
- Soak turkey in brine 1.5 hours per pound. Once bird has soaked for required time, remove bird from the brine and rinse well with cold water. Discard your brine. At this point you can either put bird in the refrigerator overnight, or cook immediately.
- I brine my bird in a turkey bag in a large cooler full of ice).
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place your bird on the rack in your foil lined roasting pan.
- Pat dry with paper towels.
- At the rear end of the bird, slide your fingers into the space between the skin and the meat. Slowly pry the two apart starting at the rear and working your way up to the neck on the breast side of the bird.
- Stuff your herb butter into this pocket you have just created.
- Brush any excess butter from your fingers onto the outer skin of the turkey (should be minimal though).
- Combine all aromatic ingredients into a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. This will steep your ingredients.
- Add the steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity.
- Tuck the wings underneath the bird. Coat the skin liberally with canola oil. Salt the skin generously.
- Roast the turkey on the lowest level of your oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
- Then cover the breast portion of your turkey with a foil shield and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook until the thickest part of the turkey breast reads at 161 degrees Fahrenheit. (a 14-16 pound turkey usually takes approx. 2-2.5 hours AFTER the 30 minute high roast)
- When you remove your turkey from oven, let rest 20 minutes before carving.