Holiday Kitchen

Let's Talk Turkey

When it comes to Thanksgiving, Americans have a lot in common, but a new Butterball® national survey found regional differences in the flavors, traditions and recipes they enjoy. Garlic and sage are favorite seasonings for cooks in the Pacific region, with more than 50 percent using a combination of both to prepare their Thanksgiving turkeys. However, South Central cooks prefer to experiment with unique seasonings more than any other region, using rosemary, paprika or cloves to prepare their turkeys.

“We get calls from Alaska to Florida about every conceivable turkey and meal preparation topic,” says Mary Clingman, director of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® (1-800-BUTTERBALL). “Our top questions – about thawing and cook times – are the same across the country, but we also get many calls from people with great regional recipe ideas. One of my favorite ideas is to use local fruits and vegetables in stuffing and side dishes.”

The experts at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line will be available starting November 1 to answer all your holiday cooking questions. Visit for additional regional recipes, tips, how-to videos, turkey calculators and to download the second season of “TurkeyTalk™” — the first podcast dedicated to holiday meal preparation.

Roast Turkey with Cranberry Orange Glaze

Prep Time: 25 minutes • Total Time: 3 hours, 55 minutes • Makes: 12 servings


¾ cup orange marmalade


¾ cup frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed


3 T maple or maple-flavored syrup


1½ T balsamic vinegar


½ t salt


1 Butterball turkey, 14 to 16 lbs., thawed if frozen


Cooking spray or vegetable oil, to brush on turkey

1.   Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine marmalade, cranberry juice, maple syrup, vinegar and salt in small heavy saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently for 12-15 minutes, or until glaze is reduced to about one cup.

2.   Remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities of turkey; discard or refrigerate for another use. Drain juices from turkey and dry turkey with paper towels. Turn wings back to hold neck skin against back of turkey.

3.   Place turkey, breast side up, on a flat roasting rack in a shallow pan. Brush turkey lightly with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Roast turkey for 2 hours and then cover breast and top of drumsticks loosely with foil to prevent overcooking of breast.

4.   Continue roasting turkey for another 45 minutes, remove foil and brush generously with glaze. Return foil loosely to top of turkey and cook for another 45 minutes, or until meat thermometer reaches 180°F when inserted into the deepest part of the thigh.

5.   Brush with remaining glaze. Let turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.


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