Spatchcocked Maple Brined Turkey
- 1 12-14 lbs turkey thawed if frozen
- 5 qts hot water
- 1 ½ cups kosher salt
- ¾ cup bourbon
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 onion peeled and quartered through the root end
- 3-4 strips orange peel
- 3 bay leaves broken into pieces
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp whole cloves
- 3 qts ice
- 1 cup butter melted
- Traeger pork & poultry rub, as needed
- Sprigs of fresh sage and thyme to garnish
- Orange wedges, lady apples, or kumquats to serve
- For the Brine: In a large stockpot or container, combine the hot water, kosher salt, bourbon, 3/4 cup of the maple syrup, brown sugar, onion, bay leaves, orange peel, peppercorns, and cloves and stir until well mixed. Add the ice.
- Rinse the turkey, inside and out, under cold running water. Remove giblets and discard or save for another use. Some turkeys come with a gravy packet as well; remove it before roasting the bird.
- Add the turkey to the brine and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours, or overnight. Weight with a bag of ice to keep the bird submerged.
- Drain and pat dry with paper towels; discard the brine.
- To spatchcock the turkey: With a large knife or shears, cut the bird open along the backbone on both sides, through the ribs and remove the backbone.
- Once the bird is open, split the breastbone to spread the bird flat; this will allow it to roast evenly.
- Combine the melted butter and the remaining 1/4 cup of maple syrup and divide in half. Brush half of the mixture on the bird and sprinkle with Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub or salt and black pepper.
- Set aside the other half of the mixture until ready to use.
- When ready to cook, set the temperature to 350°F and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
- Roast the turkey until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast reaches 165°F, about 2-3 hours.
- Brush with the remaining butter-maple syrup glaze the last 30 minutes of cooking.
- Let the turkey rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Garnish, if desired, with fresh herbs and or kumquats. Enjoy!
Note: Do not use a kosher turkey or a self-basting turkey for this recipe as they have already been enhanced with a salt-solution.
*Cook times will vary depending on set and ambient temperatures.
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