Thanksgiving Recap: An Upside Down Honey Roasted Turkey

32 hour brine

I used Martha Stewart’s Turkey Brine recipe as a base recipe for my 14 lb bird.

– 1 Bottle of Riesling

– Brining Fluid for a 14 lb bird (Salt and Water)

– Peppercorns

– Tarragon

– Garlic

– Onions

– Thyme

– Bay Leaves

My Ingredients

  • 14 lb. Turkey
  • 6 oz. Honey
  • Coarse Salt
  • Crushed Black Pepper
  • 10-15 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 5-7 Medium Onions
  • Fresh Rosemary, Thyme & Sage
  • 1 lb. Butter

Basic Ingredients and Instructions

  • 14 lb Bird
  • 450 degrees for one hour(breast down)
  • 250 for 6 hrs (Basting every hour and flipping the bird after two hours at 250 degrees)

Instructions for my turkey

  1. 7:30 am, drain the brine and pat the turkey dry with paper towels
  2. After you have drained the brining fluid and pat dried the turkey, loosen the skin around the breast and around the thighs with your fingers (and a butter knife if you need). Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Then stuff butter, rosemary, sage, and thyme underneath the skin. Chop 10 cloves of garlic and 3 medium onions. Place all in the stomach cavity of the bird and rub the skin with coarse kosher salt and crushed black pepper.
  4. Then cover the entire body of the turkey in honey and pour 2 cups of whiskey into the cavity of the bird.
  5. After you have lifted your bird onto your roasting rack, place the breast side down. (This is upside down compared to traditional turkey roasting recipes)
  6. 8:15 am. Place the bird into the oven at 450 for one hour and baste. Then turn down the oven to 250 and cook for two more hours “upside down”, basting every 45-60 minutes.
  7. After you have cooked the turkey for three hours, flip the turkey so the breast is facing the ceiling. It’s easiest to flip with two people and at least two large metal spoons or forks, and then continue to baste every hour for another three hours, bringing your total cooking time to seven hours.
  8. While this seems like a long period of time, it won’t dry out your bird and will produce the most succulent turkey breast you’ve ever had because the juices accumulate in the breast while it’s cooking upside down and the salt and honey crisp the skin to keep in the fluids.

Below are progressive pictures of my turkey after each consecutive hourTurkey Pre-Roast Turkey after one hour Turkey after two hours Turkey after three hours Turkey after 4 hours Turkey after 5 hours Turkey after 6 hours Finished Turkey after seven hours

This was the best turkey I’ve made and my fourth in the past four years.

Here are some more pictures of my thanksgiving plate and  homemade Bourbon Pumpkin Pie. The cranberry sauce is a spicy ginger cranberry-apple chutney and turkey gravy is mixed with dijon mustard to cut the sweetness of the turkey juices (from the whiskey and honey drippings).

Thanksgiving Plate Bourbon Pumpkin Pie


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