Orange and Honey Roasted Turkey

Carved orange and honey roasted turkey on a platter

This is a simple roasted turkey with a twist, which means it’s easy for you but crazy impressive for your guests.



1 12-16 lb turkey, fully defrosted
1/4 C kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
3 T brown sugar
2 T orange zest
5 T unsalted butter, softened
For the glaze:
1/4 C honey
2 T soy sauce
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 T unsalted butter
1 T finely chopped rosemary
Juice of 2 navel oranges (about a 1/3 C)


Remove any giblets from the inside of the turkey and set aside for gravy.

Rinse bird under cold, running water and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Place bird on a wire rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet or a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan.

In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, brown sugar, and orange zest.

Rub this mixture all over and inside the bird, making sure to get some underneath the skin of the breast meat as well as the thighs.

Transfer the bird to the fridge and let rest, uncovered for 24 hours.

The next day, take the bird out and let rest at room temperature for an hour, before cooking.

Preheat your oven to 400° F.

Spread half of the softened butter underneath the skin of the breast meat. Spread the rest over the surface of the bird.

Place the bird in the oven with the legs facing towards the back of the oven and pour 1/2 C water into the bottom of the pan (maintaining this level of liquid throughout the entire cooking process).

Roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze by bringing all ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, or until glaze thickens slightly. It will not be very thick though.

Turn the oven temperature down to 300° F and apply a layer of glaze to the turkey.

Continue glazing the bird every 30 minutes, while maintaining a level of liquid in the bottom of the pan, until the bird registers 155-160° F in the thickest part of the breast, and 165-170° in the thickest part of the thigh meat. For a 13 pound bird, my total cooking time was just over 3 hours.

If you’re worried that the bird is browning too quickly, spray a sheet of aluminum foil with non-stick spray, and place it spray-side-down onto the top of the bird.

Keywords: beautiful turkey recipe, easy holiday entertaining, thanksgiving turkey