(Serves 12 – 14)
Nothing dresses up the holidays like Spicy Slather Sauce. The heat kick showcases the mellow, earthy flavor of turkey with aplomb and it glows with glorious, deep color for gorgeous presentation. Fresh tangerine juice and zest give holiday color and sweet and savory girth to the pan gravy.
One 11 – 12 pound turkey
6 tablespoons butter, cut into individual tablespoon slices
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Spicy Slather Sauce
Zest and juice from one tangerine (or substitute an orange)
1/2 low sodium chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To finish the gravy:
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425. Rinse and pat the turkey dry. Season generously, on all sides and into the cavity, with salt and pepper. Loosen the skin on the breasts by sticking your fingers between the skin and the flesh. Arrange the butter pats evenly under the skin of the breasts. Place turkey in a sturdy roasting pan, elevated on a roasting rib rack.
Roast at 425 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until the skin just starts turning golden and forming a crust from the seasoning. Meanwhile, combine the basting sauce ingredients – Spicy Slather Sauce, tangerine zest and juice, chicken stock and cinnamon in a small bowl or 2 cup measuring cup. Stir or whisk to combine.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Baste the turkey, either with a ladle or spoon or a pastry brush, every 30 minutes with the basting sauce. Be sure to add small amounts of water to the bottom of the pan when/if the sauce evaporates, to prevent the sauce from burning. Continue cooking and basting for about 3 hours, or until the turkey is done and the internal temperature has reached 180 degrees F. When done, carefully remove the turkey from the pan and rest, lightly covered with aluminum foil, for at least 20 minutes and up to 45 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Turn out all the pan juices from the roasting pan into a medium sauce pan. Skim off any visible fat with a shallow ladle and discard. Bring up to a boil over high heat and add the cranberries. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, until the cranberries pop and start to thicken the sauce, about 15 minutes. Reduce the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency – thick enough to hold in a spoon, but liquid enough to “run” over the meat with each bite. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
Carve and serve the turkey either individually or on a platter with a gravy boat of warm gravy.