Turkey Recipe with a Maple and Bourbon Glaze

Maple and bourbon glazed turkey

  • serves 8 with leftovers
  • A little effort

A different way to present your Christmas turkey. Maple syrup and bourbon give a sweet but mature flavour, and a beautiful bronzed finish. And a few clementines for festive cheer, and you've got yourself a winning recipe


Try this maple and bourbon glazed turkey, then check out our roast turkey, easy turkey crownturkey gravy and more Christmas turkey recipes.



  • whole turkey 5-5.5kg
  • clementines 2
butter 25g, softened
  • onions 2, unpeeled, thickly sliced
  • thyme a few fresh sprigs, if you like
plain flour 3 tbsp

  • chicken stock cubes 2
maple syrup 1 tbsp

  • bourbon 3 tbsp
cocoa 2 tsp
soy sauce 1-2 tbsp


  • maple syrup 4 tbsp
  • bourbon 4 tbsp
  • soft brown sugar 4 tbsp
  • soy sauce 1 tbsp
Dijon or English mustard 1 tbsp


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Weigh the turkey (you might need to use your bathroom scales), so you can calculate the cooking time, allowing 40 minutes per kg for the first 4kg, then 45 minutes for each kg over that weight. Push the clementines into the bird’s cavity, and rub the soft butter all over the outside, then season generously. Arrange the onion slices and thyme in the bottom of a large roasting tin. Sit the turkey on top and cover with a tent of foil so it doesn’t touch the top of the bird, but crimps tightly to the edges of the tin. Roast following to your calculation.

  • Step 2

    Make the glaze by mixing all the ingredients with a pinch more salt. Half an hour before the end of cooking time, remove the tent of foil and increase the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Brush half the glaze liberally over the turkey and put back in the oven for 15 minutes. Repeat once more, until the turkey is golden and glazed and the juices run clear when the fattest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer (see p132 for other ways to test if it’s done). Remove the turkey from the oven and lift onto a platter to rest. Cover with foil, then a thick towel and rest for 40-45 minutes while you finish the accompaniments.

  • Step 3

    Tip the roasting juices into a measuring jug, but leave the onions in the tin and put it
on the hob. Once the juices have separated, stir 1 tbsp of the fat into the onions with the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Mash in the stock cubes, the bourbon, maple syrup, cocoa and 1 tbsp of the soy sauce.

  • Step 4

    Skim the rest of the fat from the cooking juices and add enough boiling water to make 1 litre. Pour into the onions and bring to a simmer. Cook until it has a nice consistency, about 10 minutes, then taste for seasoning – it might need the extra soy for flavour and colour. Season with pepper, then sieve the gravy into a saucepan to keep warm while you get everything else ready.

  • Step 5

    Carve the turkey at the table and serve slices with plenty of gravy and all the accompaniments.

Click the link to see other Christmas turkey recipes

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 605
  • Fat 20.5g
  • Saturates 6.9g
  • Carbs 22.7g
  • Fibre 1.1g
  • Protein 76g
  • Salt 1.9g