Cranberry-Dijon Glazed Turkey

By Susan Palmer

  • Yield:

    8-10 people Servings


For the turkey:

  • 1 10-12 pound fresh turkey
  • zest from 2 oranges
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cranberry sauce & glaze:

  • 3 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

For the stock:

  • turkey neck
  • turkey butt/tail
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the gravy:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • black pepper and kosher salt, to taste


  1. 24 hours prior to cooking your turkey, rinse it with cold water and pat completely dry with paper towels. On a clean work surface, place the turkey on a plastic cutting board and remove the neck, giblets, trim any excess skin and turkey butt/tail. Reserve the neck and tail for turkey stock.
  2. Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle grind the fresh rosemary and salt and combine it with the orange zest. Very gently loosen the turkey skin and rub the citrus herb mixture all over the turkey under the skin and inside the cavity.
  3. Place the turkey on a rimmed platter or baking sheet and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Store on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator for 1 day.
  4. The next day, remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to roasting. Move the top rack in the oven to the lower third Heat your oven to 425°F and move the top rack in the oven to the lower third.
  5. Rub 1 tablespoon of room-temperature butter under the skin and then transfer the turkey to your roasting pan filled with 2 cups of water. Once the oven has been heated lower the heat to 350°F.
  6. Cook the turkey for approximately 2 hours or until the meat registers 165°F with a meat thermometer. Baste the turkey every 45 minutes with pan juices and melted butter. If the breast meat seems to be overcooking or browning quickly, tent it with some aluminum foil. After an hour and a half of cooking, begin checking the temperature.
  7. When there is about 20 minutes of cooking time left, begin the glaze with the recipe below.
  8. Turkey Stock: While the turkey is cooking, start the turkey stock for the gravy - this can also be made 1 day in advance. Roast the turkey neck and tail for about 35 minutes in a 425°F oven. Transfer to a 3 quart saucepan with a quartered onion, some sprigs of parsley, chopped celery and whole black peppercorns and bay leaves tied in cheesecloth. Cover with water and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 2 hours, strain the solids and bring the broth back to a simmer for the gravy.
  9. Cranberry Sauce: Prepare the fresh cranberry sauce by cooking fresh cranberries, orange juice, water and sugar in a 2 quart saucepan for about 30 minutes on medium heat or until the cranberries begin to pop and break up. If the sauce is splattering, lower the heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally. The cranberry sauce should be thick with still some cranberries keeping their shape.
  10. Cranberry-Dijon glaze: Remove ¾ cup of sauce from the pan, puree in a blender with 2 tablespoons of water and transfer it to a 1 quart saucepan with maple syrup and Dijon mustard. Cook the glaze on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  11. Remove the turkey from the oven with about 20 minutes left and brush half the glaze (it will be thick) all over the turkey. Return to the oven to cook for 10 minutes, take out and apply the remaining glaze to cook for another 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Let the turkey cool in the roasting pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a cutting board to cool for another 30 minutes prior to carving.
  12. Turkey gravy: While the turkey is resting, prepare the pan gravy. In a 2 quart saucepan, melt ⅓ cup of unsalted butter and whisk in ⅓ cup of flour to create a roux. Continue to stir and cook for 5-7 minutes until the roux is a pale golden blonde. While whisking the roux, pour in 1 cup of stock making sure there are no lumps. Add in the remaining 3 cups of stock (if there is not enough turkey stock, substitute with chicken stock) and bring to a low boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and stir until the gravy is thick. Spoon off any excess fat from the roasting pan and scrape the crispy bits and pan juices. Pour into the gravy and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Keep warm until serving.