Paired with a Brown Ale
Well, it’s officially November and you know what that means! It’s time to start getting ready for the biggest food day of the year! Now, in years past I started preparing for Thanksgiving as soon as we hit November. This year Zach and I have already had our mock Thanksgiving (which allows me to share recipes like this with you earlier than the big day), so I have been prepared for Thanksgiving for quite some time. When I think about the perfect Thanksgiving, I like to stay as traditional as possible while still adding some fun twists into the mix.
This starts with the perfect turkey recipe, and I think I have the one you guys. This maple bourbon tamarind roast Thanksgiving turkey is what dreams are made of. Don’t let the prep alarm you. It really doesn’t take any more work than our ordinary turkey. It just takes some time. The brine…it’s perfection. The tamarind glaze…oh don’t even get me started. This is one recipe that if you are hosting Thanksgiving, that you have to try. Your guests will be going back for seconds, thirds and fourths!
Beer There are a few reasons I love a brown ale with poultry. First of all, I don’t want to overpower the turkey. Oh sure, you could go with a bourbon barrel-aged stout or porter for this recipe, but that might be a little extreme and I don’t usually like to pair with barrel-aged beers unless chocolate is involved. A brown ale is the way to go. It will really highlight the flavor from the brine and tamarind pulp, but it won’t take away from the general amazingness that is this roast Thanksgiving turkey.
Maple Bourbon Tamarind Roast Thanksgiving Turkey
This recipe will need 24-32 hours of prep/brining time.
2 hrPrep Time
4 hrCook Time
6 hrTotal Time
- 8 cups of water, more as needed
- 24 ounces good-quality bourbon or whiskey
- 2 cups pure maple syrup
- 1 cup fine kosher salt
- 2 large onions, quartered
- 10 bay leaves (I used fresh)
- 10 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup whole peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons whole cloves
- 1 12-15 pound NATURAL turkey, removing the insides (bags, giblets, etc)
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 6 cloves of garlic
- large bunch of herbs, tied together with kitchen string
- 8 ounces tamarind pulp
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup honey
- 6 cups chicken broth
- water, as needed
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups chicken broth (more as needed)
- salt and black pepper
- To a large pot, add the water, bourbon, maple syrup, salt, onions, bay leaves, garlic, whole peppercorns, and cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir frequently until the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and let the brine cool completely.
- Add the turkey to a large pot or bag. Make sure that the pot is big enough to hold the turkey, but not so big that when the turkey is covered with the liquid it is not completely submerged. You want the turkey to be completely submerged. Cover the turkey with the brine and refrigerate for 12-16 hours.
- Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse inside and out. Pat the turkey dry and set it on the rack of your roasting pan. Place the turkey back in the refrigerator and let it chill for 12-16 hours (see note below).
- Remove the turkey from the fridge and stuff it with the onion, garlic and herbs.
- To a small bowl, combine the tamarind pulp and water. Let it soften for a couple of minutes and then break the tamarind apart with your fingers. Let it stand for another couple of minutes. Push the tamarind mixture through a mesh strainer into a separate bowl, getting rid of any solids. To the bowl with tamarind, also add the butter and honey. Whisk to combine and then brush the mixture all over the turkey so that it is fully saturated. Add the chicken broth to the roasting pan, making sure that the bottom of the turkey isn't touching the broth.
- NOTE: You may not need the full 6 cups at this exact moment, but you will need to add more as it evaporated. Once you run out of the 6 cup of chicken broth, and it has fully evaporated, just add water until the turkey is done roasting.
- Place the turkey into a preheated oven of 350 degrees F and roast the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (when you remove it from the oven, it will continue to bake for a little while), about 15-20 minutes per pound. If you find that the turkey is darkening TOO quickly, feel free to cover it with foil so that it does not burn.
- Remove the turkey from the oven and transfer the turkey to a large cutting board. Create a foil tent to cover the turkey and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
- Place the roasting pan over two of the burners on your stove, set on medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and warm water to form a slurry of sorts. Whisk the slurry into the juices in the roasting pan. Add the butter and chicken broth and continue to whisk until the gravy is thick. Add more chicken broth as needed, and season to taste. Set aside until you are ready to serve.
- Carve your turkey and place it out on a platter. Cover until you are ready to serve. Enjoy!
Please note that it is best to use a completely natural turkey if you plan on brining it. A lot of mainstream pre-packaged turkeys come saturated in salt and other preservatives. If you use a turkey like this, it will come out VERY salty. Read the packaging before purchasing or ordering your turkey. Most natural and/or organic turkeys should be void of these preservatives.
You can cut the prep time in half if you plan to not letting your turkey dry out for 12 hours. You can just as easily pat it dry. I find that letting it dry out in the refrigerator for 12 more hours makes for a MUCH crispier skin.