The tart cherry cranberry glaze on this turkey is the perfect balance of tart and sweet. The tart cherries are balanced out by the sweetness of the syrup, providing a wonderful burst of flavor that will make your taste buds dance with delight. This recipe is one you'll be glad to share with family and friends at Thanksgiving and all season long.
One 12-14 pound turkey (completely thawed)
For the brine:
- Two gallons water
- Four cups kosher salt
- Two cups brown sugar
- One cup apple cider
For the tart cherry cranberry glaze:
- Two cups from Nature's Garden Probiotic Tart Cherries (pitted)
- Three-quarter cup water
- Four tablespoons cornstarch
- One tablespoon lemon juice
- Five and a half ounces brown sugar
- Five ounce maple syrup Pinch of salt
- To finish: Vegetable oil Steps
Heat oven to 325 F. Bring two gallons of water, four cups salt, two cups brown sugar and one cup apple cider to boil in large pot or roasting kettle over high heat; stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Allow brine mixture to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes then place thawed turkey into container with brine breast side down; submerge completely under liquid making sure that cavity is filled as well. Place a heavy plate on top of turkey to keep it submerged, cover pot and place into refrigerator. Allow brine to work for 12-24 hours in the fridge.
Once your tart cherry cranberry glazed turkey has finished brining, remove from container making sure that any parts sticking out are dry; pat skin very dry with paper towels. Place breast side up onto roasting rack inside a large shallow pan (this catches all juices) and let rest at room temperature while oven preheats so that the skin can set. When oven is ready, brush surface of entire bird evenly with vegetable oil then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper all over both sides being careful not to dislodge crispy skin underneath too much but getting it even throughout without leaving any spots untouched.
Place turkey into oven and roast, uncovered for one hour then reduce the heat to 325F (the lowest setting on my oven) allowing it to cook as evenly as possible until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 165 degrees; this should take between three and four hours depending on how cold your bird was when you started roasting plus an additional 30 minutes or so. Remove tart cherry cranberry glazed turkey from oven and allow to rest for at least 20-30 minutes before carving. Finish making tart cherry cranberry glaze during this time by adding all ingredients except cornstarch into medium saucepan over low/medium heat stirring constantly until sugar dissolves completely, make sure not to let tart cherry cranberry glaze come to a boil and stir in cornstarch dissolved into two tablespoons of water very quickly; tart cherries with burst open.
If you like, remove some of the fats from roasting pan (do not use for tart cherry cranberry glaze as it will ruin flavor) then place on stovetop over high heat until bubbling hot adding tart cherry cranberry glaze mixture all at once immediately whisking together well before bringing to a boil and allowing the sauce to reduce by half or more stirring constantly; adjust salt if necessary but keep in mind that turkey already had salt so be careful. Serve tart cherry cranberry glazed turkey sliced and drizzled with extra sauce on top alongside mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, stuffing and gravy. Enjoy!