celebrating 130 years 1884-2014

Maple Butter Roast Turkey

By Chelsea Sugar
Maple Butter Roast Turkey
8 servings
  • 0 reviews

  • Difficulty Easy
  • Prep time 1 hrs
  • Cooking time 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Serves

    5 tsp salt
    1/4 cup Chelsea Dark Cane Sugar (50g)
    1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    1 tsp dried sage
    1 tsp garlic powder
    3.75kg whole turkey (or between 3.5-4.5kg), thawed or mostly thawed

    125g Tararua Butter, softened 
    1/2 cup Chelsea Maple Flavoured Syrup (150g)
    2 small oranges
    1 brown onion
    2 whole bulbs garlic
    Fresh herbs, i.e. rosemary, sage, thyme (optional)
    1 cup white wine, cider or water (250ml)

    STUFFING CUPS (optional)
    200g bacon, finely diced
    3/4 cup dried cranberries (120g)
    2 celery stalks, finely diced
    1 brown onion, finely diced
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 apple, finely diced
    125g Tararua Butter
    2 cups cubed fresh white bread (1cm cubes, about 4-5 slices of bread)
    1/2 cup milk (125ml)
    1 egg, whisked with a fork
    1 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh)
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 cup Chelsea Maple Flavoured Syrup (75g)


    Mix salt, Chelsea Dark Cane Sugar, thyme, sage and garlic powder together in a small bowl until well combined. Remove giblets from inside the turkey. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

    Spread the rub inside, underneath and all over the top of the turkey. Wrap the turkey up tightly in cling film until well sealed.

    Refrigerate upside down in a large roasting pan for 24 hours. Flip the turkey over and refrigerate for a further 24 hours. Unwrap and remove any excess moisture by patting dry with paper towels.

    Position an oven rack in the bottom third of your oven and preheat oven to 200°C fan bake. Stir Tararua Butter and Chelsea Maple Flavoured Syrup together in a small bowl, until well mixed. Rub one third of the maple butter inside the turkey.

    Zest one of the oranges and set the zest aside. Cut oranges and onion into quarters. Slice whole garlic bulbs in half horizontally.

    Stuff turkey with oranges, one of the garlic bulbs and herbs, if using. Tie the turkey legs together with kitchen twine.

    Place onion and remaining garlic bulb in a large roasting dish. Set a roasting rack over the top and place the turkey, breast-side down, on the rack. Tuck the wing tips underneath the turkey. Rub one third of the remaining maple butter over the exposed surface of the turkey. Pour wine/cider/water into the pan, avoiding getting any on the turkey.

    Roast turkey for 30 minutes. Use silicone oven mitts or old tea towels to carefully flip the turkey over. Tuck the wings in. Brush turkey with half of the remaining butter, reduce oven temperature to 160°C fan bake and roast for a further 45 minutes.

    Mix orange zest into remaining butter and spread all over the turkey. Roast for a final 30 minutes, until turkey is cooked through (a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and breast should read 75°C). If any part of the turkey starts to brown too much, cover that section loosely with foil.

    Allow turkey to rest for 30 minutes before carving and serving.

    While turkey cooks, prepare stuffing. Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin.

    Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium-high. Cook bacon for 3-4 minutes, until starting to crisp. Add cranberries, celery, onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add apple and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, until apple is soft. Add butter to pan and stir until melted.

    Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add bread, milk, egg, thyme and salt. Season with cracked pepper and mix until well combined.

    Spoon mixture into muffin tin and press down gently with the back of a spoon. Drizzle with Chelsea Maple Flavoured Syrup. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

    When turkey has finished cooking, increase oven temperature to 170°C fan bake and cook stuffing cups for 30 minutes (while turkey rests), until golden brown.


    You can make gravy from the liquid in the roasting pan.

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