Maple and Herb Roasted Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving all! (Obviously Canadian. lol) 😀 The awesome thing about Thanksgiving is that you still get to eat all the delicious food without having to spend any money on presents! This year however, I wanted to do all the cooking and host a little Thanksgiving shenanigan for my besties and sister. Since it was my first time, I thought I’d go with the traditional Turkey + gravy and mashed potatoes kinda deal. The thought of making the turkey was quite intimidating since I have never even attempted to roast a whole chicken before. And thus, it was decided that I conquer my fear of popping the holiday bird into the oven.

My manager told me “If you can bake, you can baste!”. And she was so right! My turkey came out perfect! It was cooked to the bone and it was super juicy. If you’ve never roasted a turkey in the oven, you’ve got to try it! Don’t wait for the holidays to come! Roasting is easy and delicious! My whole kitchen smelled SOOOO GOOOD. At some point I was actually tempted to start eating the turkey before my friends came. (Actually I did have a little piece of the tail. hehe.. No one would have known… right? 😉 )

Anyway, I’ll provide the original recipe here. The only change I made was to turn up the temperature and I think that’s what made my turkey burn a little, but it was still nice and crispy on the outside! I was definitely rushing the dinner because I only had 4 hours to finish everything before my guests came. And yes, that includes turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy AND cheesecake. My cheesecake and turkey were in the oven together at some point too! Thank goodness the cheesecake didn’t have a hint of “turkey-ness” in it!

Maple and Herb Roasted Turkey

 Recipe from Chateleine
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme or 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano or 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 kg turkey, thawed if bought frozen (13-15 lb)
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large onion, cut in half
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  1. Position oven rack in bottom third of oven. Preheat to 325F. Place a rack in a roasting pan. Stir butter with herbs and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Wash and dry turkey well. Reserve giblets. Rub herbed butter underneath and over skin of turkey. Transfer turkey to rack in pan. Bend and tuck wings under the bird and loosely tie drumsticks with twine. Pour sherry into pan along with 1/2 cup water. Add carrot and celery sticks. Cover loosely with foil.
  3. Roast in bottom third of oven for 2 hours, basting regularly every 1/2 hour. After 2 hours, remove foil and brush turkey with maple syrup. Continue roasting, uncovered, until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 175F, about 1 more hour, for a total cook time of about 15 min per 500 g. Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Tent loosely with foil and let rest at least 25 min before carving.
  4. Place giblets in a medium saucepan. Cover with water. Add onion, bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 30 min. Strain and save liquid. Discard giblets.
  5. Skim off any fat floating on pan juices. Place pan over 2 burners or pour juices into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium. Sprinkle in flour while whisking constantly, until smooth. Whisk in 2 cups giblet or chicken broth. Whisk until thickened, about 5 min.

For next time, I’d try to flip the turkey after roasting it for the first hour. I found the bottom of the turkey SUPER juicy and delicious!! The top was cooked thoroughly but a tad dry. Still good though! Do you guys usually flip your turkeys??

I made my stuffing separately since I barely had time to stuff the turkey! A stuffed turkey would also mean prolonged bake time and time wasn’t on my side that day. I added some garlic sausage and shredded cheese to my stuffing, and baked it 10 minutes before my friends came!!

Of course there would have had to also some mashed potatoes on thanksgiving!

Here’s the pumpkin cheesecake that I made last year. I’ve made it last year for thanksgiving too and absolutely love it!

It was nice having my friends over! Like me, they live away from their families as well and it was really lovely to be able to spend the day with my closest people!