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Orange & Maple Roasted Turkey


Here is a simple recipe for roast turkey that creates a flavorful and moist turkey using oranges, maple syrup and lots of herbs. Brining the turkey is an important step in creating a really moist turkey.

Recipe courtesy of Marc Van Steyn, Executive Chef, Rigsby's Cuisine Volatile, Columbus, Ohio.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes


  • 1 12-pound WHOLE TURKEY, fresh or thawed
  • * * * * Brine * * * *
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 Cup salt
  • 10 black peppercorns, whole
  • 1 Medium orange, peeled and juiced
  • 1 Gallon cold water
  • * * * * Turkey Prep * * * *
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 Sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 Medium carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 Medium white onions, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 celery ribs, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • * * * * Cooking Procedure * * * *
  • 1 Pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Medium oranges, juiced
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 Cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped


Brine the turkey:

  1. Combine the sugar, salt, peppercorns, orange and cold water in large pot and simmer over low heat for 1-1/2 hours.
  2. Chill brine in ice bath until cold.
  3. Place whole turkey into container such as a 5-gallon bucket.
  4. Pour chilled brine over top to submerge. Cover.
  5. Marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  6. Remove turkey from brine, drain excess liquid.

Prep the turkey:

Place herbs and vegetables in body cavity and secure.

Roast the turkey:

  1. Combine butter, orange juice, salt, pepper, maple syrup, rosemary, thyme and garlic in a large bowl.
  2. With fingers, slowly massage the compound butter into the skin of the turkey until well absorbed.
  3. Fold wings under the back of the turkey and return legs to the tucked position. Turkey may be cooked in a 325 degree F oven or on a rotisserie.
  4. If roasting in a thermal oven, cook on a rack for approximately 3 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh.
  5. If cooking by the rotisserie method, thread turkey evenly on the rotisserie-spit fork using a counterweight to achieve an even balance. Place a drip pan in the center of the grill beneath the area where the turkey juices will drip. Cook the turkey over indirect medium heat in a covered rotisserie.
  6. If cooking with charcoal, replenish briquettes with about 15 briquettes every hour, as needed, to maintain medium heat. Cook until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh (about 3 hours).
  7. Allow turkey to rest for about 15 minutes. Remove vegetables and herbs from the cavity prior to carving. Place slices on a platter and garnish with oranges.

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