A bourbon, orange and maple flavoured butter truly lifts this bird, adding flavour and moisture. 






Skill level

Average: 4.6 (30 votes)


  • 6-7 kg (2 to 14 lb) turkey 
  • 115 g unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • ¼ cup (60 g) apple butter (see Note)
  • 1½ tbsp (30 g) grainy Dijon mustard 
  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup 
  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) bourbon 
  • 1 orange, zested  
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 bunch thyme 
  • 1 apple, quartered 
  • 1 onion, quartered 
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise 
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • water, as necessary

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time: 30 minutes + 20-30 minutes

  1. Set the turkey out to come up to room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 175C (350F).
  2. In a bowl, cream together butter, apple butter, Dijon, maple syrup, bourbon and orange zest with a hand mixer. Remove the giblets and neck from turkey cavity and set aside for broth or gravy or discard. Dry inside and outside of turkey with paper towel. 
  3. Gently separate skin from breast of turkey with a spoon or hands. Spread butter over entire turkey and under the skin of the breast. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff turkey cavity with thyme, apple, onion and garlic. 
  4. Transfer turkey to a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack. Tie legs together and tuck the wings under the bird. Pour the broth into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Roast the turkey until a digital temperature inserted into the thickest part of thigh reaches 75°C (165°F), about 3 to 3-½ hours, basting turkey with the pan drippings every 30 minutes after the first hour.
  6. Add water by the cup if pan becomes dry. If turkey is browning too quickly, tent it with foil while it cooks. Remove the turkey from the oven, tent it with foil and allow it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. 



•  Apple butter is apple puree that has been cooked for a long time, creating a thick, rich paste. Try this recipe.