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Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Turkey

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Turkey

A sweet-and-spicy mixture of mustard and brown sugar flavors the skin and creates an impressive golden-brown color. Yes, this perfectly roasted turkey takes some time to make, but just imagine all the delicious leftovers.

Turkey Day History
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in the United States as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions and has long been celebrated in a secular manner also.

USMC Roast TurkeyThe modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly, but not universally, traced to a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the “First Thanksgiving”, including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631.

As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”.

Thanksgiving, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation in 1941, has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863 and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States. Historically, Thanksgiving has traditionally been a celebration of the blessings of the year, including the harvest. What Americans call the “Holiday Season” generally begins with Thanksgiving.

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In modern times the President of the United States, in addition to issuing a proclamation, will “pardon” a turkey, which spares the bird’s life and ensures that it will spend the duration of its life roaming freely on farmland.

On to the yummies!

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Turkey

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Turkey
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Holiday
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A practically instant sweet-and-spicy mixture of mustard and brown sugar flavors the bird and gives the skin an impressive golden-brown color.
  • 1 whole turkey, about 12 pounds (neck and giblets reserved)
  • 1 tsp Coarse salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups of giblet stock
  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely minced
  1. Wash the turkey with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels inside and outside. Season inside of turkey with salt and pepper, and stuff with fresh thyme leaves.
  2. Combine butter, 1 tbsp mustard, thyme, garlic, paprika, and onion in a small bowl.
  3. Using your fingers, gently loosen turkey skin from over the breast meat, and smear half the butter mixture under skin. Bend wing tips forward, and tuck under the neck cavity. Tie legs together loosely with kitchen twine. Fold neck flap under, and secure with toothpicks. Rub entire turkey with remaining herb butter.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, pressing to adhere.
  5. Place turkey breast side up on roasting pan, adding 3 cups of stock to the bottom of the pan. Close up your roaster and bake 45 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together sugar and mustard. using a basting brush, cover the turkey with the glaze. Continue to roast the oven for about another 1 and ½ hour, brushing with glaze 2 to 3 more times, adding water as needed to the bottom of the pan, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh (avoid the bone) registers 165°F.
  7. Transfer turkey to a platter, reserve pan with drippings for your gravy.
  8. Cover turkey loosely with foil and let rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.
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To ensure a juicy Thanksgiving turkey, buy an inexpensive instant-read thermometer, and remember the thighs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 180 degrees; to avoid overcooking, remove turkey from the oven once it reaches 175 degrees, as it will continue to cook out of the oven. Check again after about twenty minutes, and return to oven if it hasn't reached 180 degrees.

Based loosely on Martha Stewart’s Turkeys here and here.


If you’ve made this recipe; I’d love to see a picture!
Just tag it with #EmmmmerzEatz and I’ll re-share!


A Military Spouse stationed in the middle of nowhere. Emma loves to cook for her family (while dodging dirty dishes). She is blessed to be a stay at home mom with 3 kiddos. She is passionate about cloth diapering, car seat safety, breastfeeding, homeschooling, frugal living, babywearing, and her Christian faith. More Molly Messy than Susie Homemaker, she has been trying to improve her housekeeping and related skills.

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