clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Butterflied Turkey with Cranberry Molasses Glaze

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


Your guests will be so impressed with the incredible flavor and moist meat of this turkey recipe. Seasoning the meat well and crisping the skin while adding great complimentary flavors takes turkey to a whole new level of goodness.




  • 1 (12 – 14 pound) turkey, giblets and neck removed
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • optional: 2 large onions, peeled and halved (see post)


  • 3 cups of apple cider
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup light or mild molasses
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Following the instructions in the blog post, butterfly the turkey by cutting adjacent to each side of the backbone with sharp kitchen scissors and removing it completely. Flip the turkey over and using the heel of both hands, push down until the turkey is laying flat. (You will hear bones cracking.)
  2. With a wooden skewer, poke 15 to 20 holes in the breast halves and thighs. Flip the bird over and rub the bone side of the turkey with 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Flip turkey skin side up and separate the skin from the meet using the handle of a wooden spoon or your fingers. Rub 1 tablespoon of salt evenly under the skin. Tuck the wing tips under the breast. Push the legs up to rest on the lower portion of the breast and tie the ends together with kitchen twine. Combine the remaining tablespoon of salt, remaining tablespoon of pepper and baking powder in a small bowl. With a wad of paper towels, blot the skin dry. Rub the entire surface of the skin evenly with the baking powder mixture. Place the turkey in your roasting pan, either on the inverted rack or onions and allow the bird to stand at room temperature for about an hour. About 10 minutes before the end, preheat your oven to 275 and move an oven rack to the lower-middle position.
  3. Roast the turkey until an instant read thermometer registers 160 degrees inserted in the thickest part of the breast, and 175 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh, about 2 and 1/2 hours.
  4. While the turkey is roasting, move on to cooking the glaze by combining all ingredients except butter in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 and 1/2 cups, about thirty minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it leaves a thin film coating on your spoon. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a 2 cup measuring cup. Press on the solids in the strainer to extract as much glaze as you can, and trash the solids that are left. Transfer 2/3 cup of glaze to a medium saucepan (to be added to gravy) and set aside.
  5. When the bird reaches the desired temperature, remove from the oven. Strain any liquid in the bottom of the pan into a fat separator. Pour just enough water back into the roasting pan to cover the bottom. This will prevent the bottom from burning during the glazing phase. Adjust the oven temperature to 425 degrees and let the turkey rest for about 30 minutes.
  6. Brush the turkey with approximately one-third of the glaze in the measuring cup. It should stick to the skin fairly well without much dripping off. Place in the hot oven for about 6-7 minutes. Watch your turkey carefully so it doesn’t burn! Pull it out and put another coat of glaze on. Roast again for 6 to 7 minutes. Pull the turkey out and place a final third coat of glaze over the bird and roast for about 8 minutes, or until the skin is evenly browned and crispy. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let it rest for 20 minutes. (Now discard the onions if you used them to hold up the bird.)
  7. Pour the drippings into the saucepan with the reserved glaze, discarding any remaining fat. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and cook until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan and finally whisk in the butter. Carve the turkey and serve, passing the sauce with it.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1