Spatchcock Cranberry Orange Glazed Turkey is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get your Thanksgiving dinner on the table. The cranberry orange glazed gets a delicious flavor boost from Soy Sauce and seasonal spices.
I like to try something different when it comes to roasting a Thanksgiving turkey. If you’re not familiar with the spatchcock method, spatchcock is a fancy culinary term for butterfly. The backbone is cut from the turkey then it is spread out flat. This cuts the roasting time IN HALF! And coupled with the amazingly tasty crispy glazed skin, it truly is very good! I have great step-by-step instructions with pictures, showing how to spatchcock a chicken, click here.
My go-to way to prepare turkey is usually butter rubbed skin with salt, pepper and herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage. This year, I took some help fromSoy Sauce that brings a special ‘umami’ taste to the glaze and gives it that sweet/salty balance which makes it a key ingredient for your holiday cooking.
I served this turkey with a side of the most delicious sweet potato and fennel gratin that is cooked stove top (recipe below). This is important, why? Because the oven is precious real estate on Thanksgiving day so anything you can cook stove top or slow cooker is a big help.
White sweet potatoes (yams can also be used) are simmered in a creamy, cheesy sauce that is infused with chopped fresh fennel and shallots. This is topped with a mix of panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, then broiled until golden brown. There’s 3 Thanksgiving dishes done! 3 you say? Yes! The gravy is made as the turkey cooks. Check out my tips and the recipe below.
Tip #1: I like to refrigerate the turkey uncovered in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This dries out the skin and aides in getting a crispier skin when roasting.
Tip #2: Spatchcock or butterfly the turkey. This cuts down immensely on roasting time, it cuts it in half, actually, and it is so easy to do. I used a 12 pound turkey and it fits very nicely in my 12 x 15 inch roasting pan. This turkey would normally take about 3 ½ hours.
Tip #3: Vegetables and stock in the bottom of the roasting pan = gravy happens as the turkey cooks. I’ve been using this method for years and results in the most delicious gravy. All you do is strain and blend the juices with the onion and garlic, season and thicken.
Tip #4: When brushing the glaze onto the skin, lift the skin a little and put some directly onto the chicken meat for even more flavor.
Tip #5: Purchase a meat thermometer. It’s the only foolproof way of knowing if the turkey is cooked and more importantly, safe to eat. This is not the time for guess work.
Tip #6: Purchase an oven thermometer. None of the above will matter if your oven is running to hot or too cold. We want a successful Thanksgiving dinner.
An easy, holiday side dish is Crockpot Orange, Honey & Herb Glazed Carrots (< click text for recipe) that cooks while you prepare the rest of the meal.
If you’ve tried this Spatchcock Cranberry Orange Glazed Turkey or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below.
- For the glazed turkey:
- 1-12 pound turkey
- 6 large carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
- 4 stalks celery, cut in half
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice, plus 2 teaspoons
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Small pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1 cup chicken or turkey stock
- 1 orange, sliced
- For the sweet potato & fennel gratin:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 ounces shallots, halved and sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, quartered core removed, thinly sliced (keep leafy tops for garnish)
- 1 1/2 pounds white sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk, warmed
- Small grating fresh nutmeg
- 4 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Small pinch ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- For the glazed turkey:
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Arrange the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in the bottom of a roasting pan.
- Spatchcock the turkey, by removing the backbone and lay flat. For step by step instructions with photos click here, lay bone-side down onto the vegetables. Set aside while you make the glaze.
- To a saucepan add the orange juice, cranberry juice, soy sauce, spices and honey. Heat over medium heat and stir while it simmers and thickens.
- Mix 2 teaspoons cranberry juice with the corn starch, whisk into the glaze and simmer until thick. Pour half of the glaze into a bowl and brush all over the skin of the turkey. Do not use the glaze that was brushed onto the raw turkey for the cooked turkey. (see note) Place the orange slices on top of turkey. Keep the other half of the glaze separate from the raw meat to brush over the cooked turkey.
- Pour the stock into the bottom of the pan to cover the vegetables.
- Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 40 minutes. Brush more glaze over the turkey and rotate the pan. Roast for 50 minutes more until a meat thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the leg.
- While the turkey roasts, make the gratin.
- For the sweet potato & fennel gratin:
- To a large cast iron or oven proof skillet, add the butter over medium heat.
- When melted add the shallots and fennel and sauté until softened, 5 minutes.
- Whisk flour into the onions and fennel and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and nutmeg and continue to whisk until thickened. Stir in the cheese, salt and pepper.
- Stir in the potatoes until all slices are coated with the sauce and arrange in an even layer. Cover with foil or lid and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for 10 more minutes until the potatoes are tender and sauce is thick.
- Remove the turkey from the oven and transfer to a cutting board to rest.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, sprinkle the top with Parmesan and panko bread crumbs. Broil for a few minutes until the top is golden brown, keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
- For the gravy:
- Remove the carrots and celery from the pan drippings set aside to serve later. Add the onions and garlic to a blender.
- Skim off as much fat as you can from the juices, or use a fat separator. Strain the juices and add to the blender, blend until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon of corn starch to a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon chicken stock. Whisk this into the gravy and simmer until thickened.
Please be conscious of cross contamination and practice food safety. Do not use the same glaze for the raw turkey and the cooked turkey. Clean the brush after using on the raw turkey before brushing onto the cooked turkey.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 791 Saturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 125mg Sodium: 1847mg Carbohydrates: 98g Protein: 39g