This Coke and Cranberry Glazed Turkey could become your Thanksgiving crew’s new traditional favorite. Whether this Thanksgiving is your first for preparing the feast or if you’re looking for ways to stick to tradition but add something new, try out this easy recipe. At worst, you’ll have a story about the turkey that wasn’t a hit. At best, Thanksgiving will be changed for the better.
For the Turkey
- 12-15 lb turkey
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 Granny Smith apple, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 orange, sliced thick
- 4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4-5 springs fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup water
For the Coke Cranberry Glaze
- 16 oz Coke
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- roasting rack
- roasting pan
- medium sauce pan
Thaw and Prep Turkey
Plan ahead for this part. Thaw your turkey in a refrigerator. Allow 1 day for every 4 pounds (so a 16 pound turkey would need at least 4 days in the refrigerator).
Remove turkey from the refrigerator. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey’s cavity. Allow to rest at room temperature for around 45 minutes before cooking.
Roast the Turkey
Set oven rack to middle position. Remove other oven racks. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
As the oven heats, place the roasting rack in the pan. Place the turkey on the rack breast side up. Brush the turkey with half of the melted butter, then sprinkle with half the salt and pepper. Carefully flip the turkey breast side down on the rack. Repeat with butter, salt, and pepper.
Place the vegetables, fruits, and herbs in the bottom of the roasting pan. Add the water.
Place the pan in the heated oven for 1 hour.
At 1 hour, remove the pan from the oven. Lower the temperature to 325ºF. Using dish towels or oven gloves (silicone cleans the most easily), flip the turkey breast side up. Add a little water to the pan if necessary.
Return the turkey to the oven and continue to roast for 2 hours.
Make the Glaze
As the turkey roasts, make the Coke and cranberry glaze. Add the Coke, cranberries, butter, and sugar to a medium sauce pan. Stir well.
Stir the mixture over high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Continue simmering over medium heat until the cranberries have burst and the liquid has reduced to around half, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Glaze the Turkey
At the 1½ hour mark, remove the turkey from the oven. Using a pastry brush, coat the turkey with the glaze, taking care to lift the wings and legs to get underneath. Return to the oven for 30 minutes.
At the 2 hour mark, begin checking the temperature and adding more glaze until the turkey reaches 170ºF. Remove from the oven.
Let the Turkey Rest
After removing from the oven, allow the turkey to rest for 30-45 minutes before carving.