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.
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.
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.
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.
*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.
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.
At this point, take your reduced wine and brush it onto the 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!
Recipe: Red Wine Lacquered Turkey with Spiced Butter
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- At this point, take your reduced wine and brush it onto the 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!
Preparation time: 1 hour(s)
Cooking time: 2 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
Leave a Comment
woah, Heather! this elevates the typical turkey!! i want this in my house for thanksgiving!! haha
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!
What a great idea for turkey!
Looks absolutely amazing Heather! I’m definitely making my next turkey like this!
Can a turkey be stunning? This one is!
I kind of feel like it is too Laura!! thank yoU!!
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 🙂
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?
LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!!!!
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?
Oh wow! That is seriously one of the most gorgeously rich turkeys I have seen. The lacquer gives it the most beautiful color.
thank you so much!!
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.
Such a stunning & creative way to prepare Turkey for Thanksgiving!
If you want to stay with the exotic theme of this gorgeous turkey, what would recommend serving with it?
ooooh Jenna! fun! I think it would still be great with the standards, but dishes like these would be fun too:
Couscous with currants,figs and pistachios
Kale and Roasted Pumpkin Salad
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!
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.
Hello, wanted to ask your opinion…would this recipe work in a crockpot?
If I make a 12-14lb turkey, can I just double it?
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.
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?
No lid- you can just let the turkey roast exposed so that the skin gets crispy!
I MADE THIS!
Everyone RAVED over this turkey, including my wife who doesn’t usually like turkey! Juicy, firm, flavorful. Color on the bird was a gorgeous dark amber.
I did pretty much everything as directed (except our turkey was 9.5 lbs), but I recommend the following alterations/reminders:
1. Make sure your turkey is COMPLETELY THAWED. Stuffing with orange wedges causes the turkey to cook slower because the wedges block heat accessing the colder parts of the turkey gut cavity. We ended up having to roast our turkey an extra 30+ minutes due to this issue (and it was thawing in the fridge for 3 days!).
2. Before you stuff the butter under the breast skin, enlarge the open space of skin over the breast meat. Do this by sticking your hand under the breast skin flap (near the neck opening), and gently spreading open your fingers so to pull more skin away from the breast meat. THEN grab handfuls of the thickened/cooled spiced butter into these spaces. It is hard to do this if you introduce the butter in there first.
3. Lacquer the turkey with the wine reduction FIRST, then sprinkle on the salt. The recipe’s suggested order results in the salt getting washed/brushed off, more salt needing to be added, and thus a saltier gravy from the drippings. Gravy still ended up awesome, but it was getting close to too salty.
4. AND YES, the GRAVY from this is perhaps the most AMAZING thing that comes from this recipe! The wine (we did cheap Cab Sauv) gave a beautiful dimensionality to the classic flavor, although we took too much of the fat off and it ended up a tad watery (no one complained – it was that good). Make sure you plan ahead to utilize this delicious opportunity (once the turkey gets out of the oven everything is go-go-go to avoid a cold turkey).
>> NOTE TO ALL READERS: As general courtesy to fellow cooks, please abstain from commenting on recipes unless you actually have already made them. Other readers like me need to know if the recipe is a winner for all who try it, and we can’t find those reviews easily.
If you’re cooking a large bird, 20-24lbs, do you increase the wine reduction as well as the butter or no? Super excited about this recipe and I really want to do it right as this is my first year hosting my family Thanksgiving.
I made this with a full bird a year ago and it was awesomely bonkers!! Wow. Since I’m a bachelor, I ended-up cutting much of the leftovers up after Thanksgiving weekend was over and freezing the parts in separate freezer bags until Christmas and New Years when I thawed them to make an unbelievable Turkey soup! OMG This year I am doing the same theme, but only with turkey drumsticks on a slightly reduced scale. They are in the oven as I write this and the aroma permeating my tiny apartment reminds me now of last year. Wrinkle: I added garlic, onion, celery stalk and one mcIntosh apple, cut into wedges into the mix, using burgundy wine and a splash of brandy this year. Will let y’all know how it came out next time. Happy Holidays!
Thank you so much Naph!!
Do you cover with foil could I achieve same effect in roasting pan?
I didn’t know that I could fall in love with food. Great Turkey dinner I love it.
Would this work for cornish hens rather than a turkey?
Absolutely! that would be great Elizabeth!
Reduced wine didn’t get syrupy and it was all runny when applying to turkey; was it supposed to be like this?