red wine lacquered Turkey with spiced butter

Red Wine Lacquered Turkey with Spiced Butter

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Red Wine Lacquered Turkey with Cinnamon Orange Butter

I have to be honest. This turkey is really something special. I love a traditional turkey tremendously. You can’t go wrong with butter and fresh herbs, but if by any chance you are looking for something different- this may be the answer.

Red Wine Lacquered Turkey

When I made these scones last week, I had leftover cinnamon orange butter and it was sitting out on the counter. I was busy preparing my turkey for its red wine bath when I realized that the smells of the two were mingling nicely (the butter and the red wine. Not the raw poultry.) And it kind of reminded be of mulled wine or Morrocan food- where you can get sweet flavors and spices mixed in with savory.

Red Wine Lacquered Turkey

Anyways, I just sort of went for it and slathered the turkey (under the skin) in this cinnamon orange butter. And then the spectacular red wine glaze went over the top. It was so shiny and gorgeous, I have now started referring to it as a red wine lacquer.

Red Wine Lacquered Turkey

But let me just tell you. The aromas wafting from the oven while this spiced, buttered and wine drenched turkey were roasting were out of this world. And the flavor was even better. Truly. Somehow, just the tiniest bit of sweetness from the cinnamon and ginger and orange just elevated this bird to the highest level. And lets not forget the fact that this is one gorgeous bird.

Red Wine Lacquered Turkey

*Note: The butter portions were designed for a 7-8 pound turkey, so double it for 14-16 pound turkey or triple it for a 20 pound turkey.

To make this bird, this is what you do:

Pour the bottle of wine in a small pot and reduce over medium-low heat until you only have 1/3-1/2 cup of wine left.

Red Wine Lacquered Turkey

While the wine is reducing, prepare the turkey.
30 minutes before you roast the turkey, take the turkey out to come to room temperature. Make sure you remove the giblets and then set the bird on a roasting rack, breast side up.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

To make the butter, use a fork to mash together the butter, cinnamon, ginger and orange. Then take that butter and lift up the skin on the turkey breasts and rub the muscle with the butter.
Then generously salt your turkey and stuff the cavity with the orange wedges.

Red Wine Lacquered Turkey

At this point, take your reduced wine and brush it onto the turkey.

Red Wine Lacquered Turkey Red Wine Lacquered Turkey

Pour two cups of chicken stock in the bottom of the pan and put the turkey into the oven to roast. Immediately turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

Cook your Turkey 13 minutes for every pound, or until the juices run clear. I basted mine with the buttery wine drippings twice during the process.

When you remove the Turkey from the oven, let it rest for about 15-30 minutes tented with foil- it will help to keep the meat juicy, plus give you time to get everything else ready!

Red Wine Lacquered Turkey

 

Recipe: Red Wine Lacquered Turkey with Spiced Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle red wine (I used a zinfandel for it’s fruity flavors)
  • Small Turkey 7-8 pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces soft butter
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • Zest of one large orange
  • One large orange, cut into quarters
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Pour the bottle of wine in a small pot and reduce over medium-low heat until you only have 1/3-1/2 cup of wine left.
  2. While the wine is reducing, prepare the turkey.
  3. 30 minutes before you roast the turkey, take the turkey out to come to room temperature. Make sure you remove the giblets and then set the bird on a roasting rack, breast side up.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  5. To make the butter, use a fork to mash together the butter, cinnamon, ginger and orange. Then take that butter and lift up the skin on the turkey breasts and rub the muscle with the butter.
  6. Then generously salt your turkey and stuff the cavity with the orange wedges.
  7. At this point, take your reduced wine and brush it onto the turkey.
  8. Pour two cups of chicken stock in the bottom of the pan and put the turkey into the oven to roast. Immediately turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
  9. Cook your Turkey 13 minutes for every pound, or until the juices run clear. I basted mine with the buttery wine drippings twice during the process.
  10. When you remove the Turkey from the oven, let it rest for about 15-30 minutes tented with foil- it will help to keep the meat juicy, plus give you time to get everything else ready!

Preparation time: 1 hour(s)

Cooking time: 2 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

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37 Comments

  1. woah, Heather! this elevates the typical turkey!! i want this in my house for thanksgiving!! haha

  2. That is one dramatic bird! I can imagine how this pairing would be simply incredible.

    • It is pretty dramatic Aimee! But the flavors are truly out of this world. I like the idea of having something a little exotic on the holiday table. Or if you are a traditionalist for Thanksgiving, then maybe try it for Christmas!

  3. What a great idea for turkey!

  4. Looks absolutely amazing Heather! I’m definitely making my next turkey like this!

  5. Can a turkey be stunning? This one is!

    • I kind of feel like it is too Laura!! thank yoU!!

  6. Sally Tews says:

    Wow~This looks fantastic Heather.I think I may try this.I am just thinking~what do you think if you tried it on a whole chicken?Beautiful presentation :-)

    • Sally- I think it would be magnificent on a whole chicken. Makes it easy and weeknight friendly too :)

  7. collette says:

    This sounds A.MAZ.ING! My fave turkey has been btwn a parmesan butter under the skin and an southwestern orange chipotle smoked turkey. Gonna have to try this one!!!!

    • ORANGE CHIPOTLE SMOKED TURKEY!!??? oh wow Collette. Where is that recipe?

  8. naomi says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!!!!

  9. Sharon says:

    Looks gorgeous, sort of like the lacquered ducks in Chinatown that I used to see in NYC years ago. So, how do you think this would be by preparing the wine glaze but using it for a whole turkey breast? And, let’s throw this out there, cooking the turkey breast in the slow cooker?

    • Sharon I was inspired by those ducks! I think it would be fantastic on a whole roasted chicken breast. I have no idea about the slow cooker to be honest- but I suspect that you would wind up with chewy flabby skin, not crispy, right?

  10. Oh wow! That is seriously one of the most gorgeously rich turkeys I have seen. The lacquer gives it the most beautiful color.

  11. Tye says:

    wow! what a beautiful turkey! could you still brine it?

    • You wouldn’t need to Tye- there is so much flavor in it as is, I think you would be fine this way and save yourself a couple extra steps. If you did brine it, I would keep the flavors pretty basic in the brine.

  12. marla says:

    Such a stunning & creative way to prepare Turkey for Thanksgiving!

  13. Jena says:

    If you want to stay with the exotic theme of this gorgeous turkey, what would recommend serving with it?
    Thank you!

  14. Sounds amazing Heather. I make a turkey we all love so much that everyone expects it every year; it has a mixture of sage and butter under the skin that is topped with bacon and then it’s basted with maple syrup. I can REALLY identify with your comment of how a bit of sweetness elevated the bird. It’s true!

    I’m ready to try something different; maybe my family will equally embrace a bird with wine and cranberry. I love it!

  15. Jaan L says:

    I can’t wait to give my turkey a lacquer. As much as I love the traditional turkey, this one really is worth giving a try. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Christina B says:

    Hello, wanted to ask your opinion…would this recipe work in a crockpot?

  17. Mandy says:

    Looks great!

    If I make a 12-14lb turkey, can I just double it?

  18. Jan says:

    How would reduce this receipe if using a cornish hen?

    • Jan- I think I would probably cut the recipe in 3rds? Or this would do 2-3 little hens.

  19. Cathy says:

    This turkey looks wonderful. Now I plan to make a turkey breast tomorrow. I hope that this will work. When I cook this turkey, will I need a lid on?
    Thanks Cathy

    • No lid- you can just let the turkey roast exposed so that the skin gets crispy!