Brown Sugar Date Roast Turkey is a sweet way to serve up your next holiday dinner. Find out tricks to keep your turkey moist and flavorful and get this recipe for a sweet, gingery turkey baste.
Turkey time is upon us again and everyone is making their game plan for how to make a moist, succulent bird. Do you brine it? Should you roast it or grill it? There are so many choices it can be overwhelming. At the risk of confusing you a little more, let me add my 2 cents and give you the recipe for the Brown Sugar Date Roast Turkey.
We have an image in our mind of the perfect Thanksgiving. There is always a happy, multi-generational family sitting at a long, well adorned table… and without fail a beautifully roasted WHOLE turkey. This image has been immortalized in Norman Rockwell paintings, on countless Thanksgiving TV specials, and just about every magazine EVER!
It’s all about that bird…and the fixings that go with it. But is that really what its about?
It is easy to get caught up in the food.
Remember that Peanuts Thanksgiving Special where Peppermint Patty invites herself, Marcie and Franklin to Charlie Brown’s? Charlie, who is actually going to his grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving, arranges a Friendsgiving where he serves what he knows how to make.
Peppermint Patty says (none too pleased) says,
“What’s this? A piece of toast?
A pretzel stick? Popcorn?
What blockhead cooked all this?
What kind of a Thanksgiving dinner is this?
Where’s the turkey, Chuck?
Don’t you know anything
about Thanksgiving dinners?
Where’s the mashed potatoes?
Where’s the cranberry sauce?
Where’s the pumpkin pie?”
Marcie apologizes for Peppermint Patty and offers this advice to Charlie who feels like he has ruined Thanksgiving,
“But Thanksgiving is more
than eating, Chuck.
You heard what Linus was saying
Those early pilgrims were thankful
for what had happened to them.
And we should be thankful too.
We should just be thankful
for being together.
I think that’s what they mean
by “Thanksgiving,” Charlie Brown”
So its really about being THANKFUL. That’s it. Now I know we all have our traditions and that the WHOLE turkey is one of them, but aside from making great stuffing, cooking the bird whole is problematic to say the least. Its terribly time consuming, parts of it will get overcooked, not to mention the stress of juggling how to cook that huge bird and all the sides in one oven.
Who actually serves the whole turkey at the table anyway? So I’m giving you permission to let go of this fantasy. Truth be told, it is better to butterfly that turkey or cook it in pieces. Need a moment to pick your jaw off the floor?
Thanksgiving is about being thankful together so lets simplify the turkey situation.
This tasty Brown Sugar Date Roast Turkey was cooked in pieces with a delicious date syrup baste spiced with fresh ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. The baste can be made ahead, saving you time the day of. Also, because you don’t have to spend hours and hours cooking a whole turkey, you can spend more time with your loved ones. Now that is something to be truly thankful for!
- For the fastest cooking times, butterfly your turkey or cut it into pieces. (You can also have your butcher to do this for you!)
- I find that organic, free-range turkeys are more tender and juicy and worth the extra cost.
- Brining works, but if you don’t have time, don’t feel pressured to do it.
- Plan ahead by calculating how much turkey you need, how long it will take to thaw your turkey and how long it will take to cook.
- Save the neck (and back if you are butterflying) to make soup later!
- 165F is done but pull your turkey out a little early and let it rest. The temperature will continue to rise while it rests, but make sure it reaches 165 for food safety!
- Dress your turkey platter with fruit or herbs for a nice presentation.
- 2 TB boiling water
- 2 TB dark brown sugar
- 3 TB date syrup
- 1 TB fresh grated ginger
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp canola oil plus more for baking dish
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- Coarse salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 pounds turkey with skin on
Preheat oven to 425F and lightly oil a roasting dish
In a bowl, combine boiling water and brown sugar.
Stir to dissolve sugar.
Add ginger, vinegar, oil, cardamom, and cinnamon and stir.
Pat turkey dry and place in roasting dish.
Baste with a little of the sauce and then sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place in the oven and immediately turn over temperature down to 350.
Baste the turkey every 20 minutes and rotate the pan.
When your turkey gets close to done, about 140, stop basting and apply more salt and pepper so the skin can get crispy.
Pull the turkey when it reaches 160, tent it with foil, being careful to not let the foil touch the skin and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Carve and serve!