This recipe will 100% be your new favorite Thanksgiving Turkey. I guarantee that it has more flavor than any other turkey you've ever had. With white wine, honey, butter, rub, grape juice, thyme, sage, and a myriad of aromatic vegetables it will be both a crowd pleaser and gorgeous centerpiece to your Thanksgiving table. Not to mention it cooks in just THREE hours. No more basting and heating up your house. Throw it in the smoker, check it in 2.5 hours, and eat the best turkey of your life. I made this recipe 6 times over the course of 2 weeks to perfect it. I don't regret a single bite, and cant wait to make it again. That's how good it is.
I was also able to partner with Harmons Grocery to create a full how-to video for this recipe. I would definitely recommend watching it before starting to get a good idea of how everything should look, how to spatchcock, and how to do injections properly. I know it can all sound intimidating, but I promise its so incredibly easy.
Watch the video here
If you're local to Utah, you can also click HERE to get the recipe from Harmons.com as well as create a grocery list for everything you'll need
1 12-15Lb Turkey
1 Bundle fresh Thyme leaves
4-5 Sage leaves, minced
1/2 C Pork and Poultry Seasoning
1/3 C Honey, melted
1 C Butter (2 sticks), separated and room temp
⅓ C Salt
2T Brown Sugar
⅓ C Honey
⅓ C butter, melted
⅓ C White Wine, separated
½ C Turkey broth, separated
2 Yellow Onions, quartered
6 Celery Stalks, rough chopped
3 Leek stalks, rough chopped
5 Garlic Cloves
5 Carrots, rough chopped
½ Bundle Thyme
4C Turkey Broth (I use better than bullion)
½ C White wine
½ C White Grape Juice
S&P to taste
For Pan Liquid to be added to gravy pan in equal parts every hour
1C Turkey Broth
1C White wine
1C White Grape Juice
First things first. The Brine. This needs to be done the morning of. Brining a turkey is imperative to the overall outcome of the turkeys texture and flavor, HOWEVER, a wet brine in an ice chest full of sugar and saltwater is NOT. (Nothing against this kind of brine, but a dry brine is easier, faster, and takes up less space.
1. Be sure you've properly and fully defrosted your turkey. Remove the giblets and set aside. Rinse and dry the entire thing thoroughly with a paper towel. Place the Turkey breast side down on a rimmed baking sheet, and with a very sharp pair of kitchen shears remove the spine. Combine the salt, Sugar, and black pepper, and cover the whole outside AND underside of your bird. Keep on your countertop for up to 1 ½ hours. If this makes you squeamish, just place it in your refrigerator uncovered. (Keep in mind that the closer to room temp your turkey is when you cook it, the easier it will be to inject and the more even it will cook) Feel free to take this time to prep your veggies for the gravy or start dessert!
2. After Brining for 1 ½ - 2 hours rinse your turkey in cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Use a gloved hand to very carefully separate the skin from the meat on the breasts and legs to create “pockets”. Pull the skin away in a small section, then start with your fingers, and slowly separate the skin from the meat until you can easily fit your entire hand under the skin to the bottom of the bird. Repeat on the other side and legs.
3. Combine all the ingredients for the injection in a tall glass. This will make it easier to handle with the syringe. Inject the mixture directly into the meat going UNDER THE SKIN in 3-4 places per leg and 5-6 places per breast until you've used all of the mixture. Don't puncture the skin.
4. Combine ½ C room temp butter, sage leaves, and thyme. After patting turkey as dry as you can with paper towels, place the herb butter into the pockets you made under the skin.Spread evenly. ( Put about 2-3T per breast and leg then you can spread the butter out by pressing on the outside of the skin once it's in)
5. Use the other ½ C room temp Butter to COVER the outside of the skin, making sure to cover the wings and bottom of the legs. Sprinkle the rub liberally over both sides of the turkey. Set aside.
6. In a large foil roasting pan (big enough to span the length and width of the base of the turkey) place the prepared giblets, turkey spine, yellow onions, carrots, garlic, celery, leek, and sprinkle with the Thyme. Place the foil pan with the Veggies UNDER the grates in your smoker. Replace the grates over the top of the foil pan and bend the sides if its a bit too tall. Pour the 4C Turkey Broth, ½ C White wine, and ½ C White Grape Juice over the veggies.
*This pan should never be lower than 1/2 way full of liquid. As turkey cooks and liquid evaporates, add more of the prepared pan liquid.(1C wine,1C juice, and 1C chicken stock). About every hour add some to the veggie pan.
7. Set smoker to "smoke" with the lid open for about 5 minutes to establish flame. Close lid and preheat to (425F)
8. Place the Turkey, breast side up, directly on the grates and squarely over the foil pan. Lower the temp to (350F) and cook for 2.5 hours or until internal temp reads (135F). It should be browned and have decently crisp skin at this point
*This pan should never be lower than 1/3 way full of liquid. as turkey cooks and liquid evaporates, add more of the wine, juice, and chicken stock. About every hour add to it.
9. Melt the ⅓ C Honey and brush it LIBERALLY over the turkey. Add any remaining liquid to the drip pan and cook and additional half hour, or until the internal Temp hits (160F) with an instant read thermometer.
10. Carefully remove the turkey from the smoker and place in rimmed baking sheet and tent with foil. It will be Very golden, very crispy on the outside, and super juicy on the inside. Let rest while you make the gravy.
11. Remove the foil pan from the smoker and strain the liquid into a clear measuring cup. Use a ladle to remove as much of the fat layer as you can. You should have about 5 Cups of liquid.
12. In a saucepan over medium-high heat combine the 4T butter and the 6T Four to make a roux. Stir the mix until fragrant and golden. Slowly add the pan liquid while whisking the mixture to avoid lumps. Once all the liquid is incorporated turn the heat to medium and simmer stirring often until it reaches desired thickness.