1 (14 pound) turkey, rinsed and patted dry with neck and giblets reserved

1/4 cup coarse salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons of ancho chile powder

1 orange

1 lime

1 small yellow onion, halved

2 bay leaves

3 unpeeled garlic cloves

3/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tab light brown sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cups Bourbon

Butter for foil optional

flour or cornstarch (to thicken gravy)

2 cups chicken broth or water, as needed, for gravy


1. Preheat oven 325F. Tuck wing tips under turkey by bending them back and pushing them under wings. In a small bowl combine, salt, sugar, and chili powder. Carefully run your fingers under breast and thigh skin to loosen, then rub meat with about 1/3 of the seasoning. Rub remaining seasoning in cavity of turkey and all over the skin. Next pierce the orange and lime with a fork and stuff citrus in the cavity, along with the onion, bay leaves, and garlic. Using kitchen string, tie legs together.

2. In a small skillet, stir maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer; let cook 5 minutes.

3. Set turkey breast side up in a large roasting pan fitted with a rack. Put turkey neck and giblets in bottom of pan under rack in the pan and add bourbon. Pour all but 1/3 cup of maple-syrup mixture over turkey. Cover pan with lid or buttered aluminum foil. Roast turkey, covered, for 1 hour and thirty minutes.

4. Uncover pan and brush turkey with reserved maple-syrup mixture. Return turkey to oven and continue to roast, uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thigh meat registers 165 F, 40-50 minutes (or longer depending on oven and starting temperature). Lift turkey from pan, allowing any juices in cavity to drain into pan. Transfer turkey to a platter or cutting board. Tent turkey with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.

5. Discard neck and giblets and pour juices from pan into a gravy separator or large measuring cup. Remove fat, reserving 3 tablespoons of fat. If needed add enough broth or water to pan juices to measure 4 cups.

6. Place reserved turkey fat in a large saucepan over low heat. Gradually whisk in flour or cornstarch and cook, whisking constantly, until flour has browned, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in pan juices and cook, whisking constantly, until gravy is creamy and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

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