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Tangerine-Glazed Turkey

A technique passed down from generations—drenching cheesecloth in melted butter and oil, then draping the cloth over the turkey before roasting—helps give the bird beautiful golden-brown skin. The technique also results in juicy, moist breast meat.—Jeanne Horn, Duluth, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 minutes Bake: 3-3/4 hours + standing
  • Makes
    14 servings (4 cups gravy)


  • 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups tangerine juice
  • GRAVY:
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 325°. Remove giblets from turkey; cover and refrigerate for gravy. Pat turkey dry; place breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Rub softened butter over turkey.
  • In a large saucepan, melt cubed butter; stir in oil. Saturate a four-layered 17-in. square of cheesecloth in butter mixture; drape over turkey.
  • Add tangerine juice to remaining butter mixture. Bake turkey, uncovered, 3 hours; baste with tangerine juice mixture every 30 minutes, keeping cheesecloth moist at all times.
  • Remove and discard cheesecloth. Bake turkey 45 minutes to 1-1/4 hours longer or until a thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 170°-175°, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.
  • Remove turkey to a serving platter; cover and let stand 20 minutes before carving. Pour drippings and loosened brown bits into a measuring cup. Skim fat, reserving 1/3 cup. Add enough broth to remaining drippings to measure 4 cups.
  • For gravy, chop reserved giblets. In a large saucepan, saute giblets in reserved fat until browned. Stir in flour until blended; gradually stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with turkey.
Nutrition Facts
8 ounces cooked turkey with 1/4 cup gravy : 684 calories, 39g fat (12g saturated fat), 263mg cholesterol, 359mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 73g protein.

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  • fralor
    Nov 24, 2012

    I will definitely use this recipe again. The turkey was golden brown and completely juicy. My husband was surprised that even the white meat was juicy. My entire family raved on the turkey, so I have used this recipe for the past two Thanksgivings and will continue.

  • Lady1bug
    Nov 4, 2012

    If a turkey is done at 165 degrees, why would you want to cook it to 180 degrees? Is that a typo maybe?

  • Aquarelle
    Nov 26, 2011

    I'm so glad to read that it worked well for everyone! - Jeanne

  • fralor
    Nov 26, 2011

    My turkey came out looking exactly like the picture. My entire family loved it, because it was so moist and tasty. As it was being carved, the juice was actually running out. I have found a new recipe and have already told others about it!

  • KatieCooks86
    Nov 26, 2011

    We made this turkey for Thanksgiving this year. The family was a little apprehensive about the tangerine but decided to give it a try. And boy are they glad they did. It was the best turkey we have ever had!!! It was moist and juicy and the flavor of the tangerines really accented the turkey well. I juiced about 4 tangerines to get the required juice and then halved the other tangerines and stuffed them into the turkey cavity for extra flavor, then used them as garnish.   I also used the cheesecloth method which was featured in the magazine article. This gave the turkey a lovely golden color while keeping it moist. I will be keeping this recipe on hand for years to come!

  • andymaryr
    Nov 26, 2011

    The best tasting, moistest, most beautiful turkey I have ever prepared. Mine did look as beautiful as the photo. I did use regular OJ instead of tangerine juice...just due to what was available in my smallish town. Will certainly do this again.

  • MMMMMJames
    Nov 26, 2011

    She is all they claim..........She's got them all on the run,but her heart belongs to just one...........

  • Aquarelle
    Oct 19, 2011

    I'm the one who originally submitted this recipe to TOH, maybe four years ago now? I'd forgotten all about it. What's even better than chicken stock is turkey giblet stock: simmer the turkey neck and giblets (except for the liver, which will impart a bitter taste) in water with a few celery tops, some onion slices, and a few whole peppercorns. When you have a lovely stock, strain it, reserving the giblets, which you set aside and then chop finely for inclusion in the gravy. The turkeys I have made using this recipe never looked as good as the one in the picture, but they certainly were tasty! I prefer a bread dressing with this recipe. The one I usually make includes chopped apples and dried apricots.