Make hosting your Friendsgiving a breeze this year with this easy Maple Bourbon Turkey! This whole turkey recipe uses a high heat oven roast and a simple maple bourbon glaze and is ready in less than 2 hours!
This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms. All opinions remain mine alone. Thank you for supporting the brands I love that make Blackberry Babe possible!
Can we all agree that Friendsgiving is one of the best inventions of this decade? I love Thanksgiving with my family, but #Friendsgiving is next level! My friends are all great cooks and we put together an amazing spread. I really look forward to it each year!
For our Friendsgiving gatherings, I usually make the turkey. My Smoked Turkey is always a hit, and last year we brought this Cajun Fried Turkey. This year, I’ll be bringing something new - a quick roasted Easy Maple Bourbon Turkey using Honeysuckle White Traceable Fresh Whole Turkey and it’s seriously the most low-maintenance turkey I’ve ever made!
A few years ago, I was able to visit a Honeysuckle White turkey farm and was SO impressed with the operation! You can read about my experience here. Because of this, I’ve loved using Honeysuckle Whitei turkey for previous recipes, and was excited to team up with Honeysuckle White for the perfect #Friendsgiving turkey this year!
I love Honeysuckle White because you can trace their Honeysuckle White fresh whole turkey back to the family farmer who raised it and you can learn about the farm’s history. Honeysuckle White also never uses growth-promoting antibiotics or steroids, so you know that you are serving a good, clean turkey to your friends.
Even though this Maple Bourbon Turkey is easy to make, it’s still SUPER impressive! Roasting the whole turkey under high heat allows the skin to crisp to a beautiful golden brown, and the easy maple bourbon glaze is delicious and super glossy. This Honeysuckle White bird is totally Instagram worthy!
You have to have a tasty, impressive turkey for Friendsgiving, and this Maple Bourbon Turkey fits the bill! But, there’s more to hosting a big gathering like Friendsgiving for No Kid Hungry than having the perfect turkey.
This year, you can put the “giving” in Friendsgiving by hosting your Friendsgiving for No Kid Hungry presented by Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms. To make hosting your Friendsgiving easy, I’ve put together a few tips that make hosting so much easier!
Tips for a Stress-Free Friendsgiving
- Keep the drink options simple. Make one, large community drink to share, like this Caramel Apple Sangria. Then, I typically ask everyone to bring 1-2 bottles of wine to share, and beer or other drinks of their personal choosing.
- Having a hard time estimating how much food you need? Seriously, no need to worry! I use Perfect Potluck to estimate how much food is needed. All you need to do is tell them how many people are attending, and their tool does the rest!
- Once you know how much food is needed, utilize a potluck sign-up form to coordinate who will bring which dishes! I love Sign Up Genius. The best part of these forms is you can either let the attendees write what they are bringing, OR you can determine what you would like attendees to bring, and allow them to sign up for those items.
- Have a friend that can’t cook? No worries. Ask them to bring a little bit of extra wine for the group, OR ask them to organize a fun game!
- Worried about running out of food? Stock up on things that can be easily set ou, ust in case. Good cheese, fruit and cured meat can help fill in the gaps if you run short of food!
- Consider rallying your friends to raise funds for No Kids Hungry! If you register to do this, Honeysuckle White will send you a toolkit to help your Thanksgiving planning, complete with awesome decorations, coupons and recipes!
If your friend group is like mine, everybody likes to experiment a little bit on their Friendsgiving dishes! Side dishes are such an important part of any Thanksgiving meal. I’ve put together a few of my favorites, below!
Side Dish Recommendations for Friendsgiving:
For side dishes, plan on at least 4 options. I like to serve about a ½ cup per person for each side dish provided. You should plan on at least two vegetable side dishes and two starch side dishes.
And, don’t forget the cranberry sauce! Not everyone loves it, but if you’re like me, you miss it terribly when it’s not served.
Here are some of my favorite Friendsgiving side dishes!
Starchy Side Dishes for Friendsgiving:
- Cheesy Corn Casserole
- Caramelized Onion and Bacon Mashed Potatoes
- Crispy Roasted Purple Potatoes with Shallots and Chives
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Mexican Corn Bake
- Jiffy Sweet Corn Spoon Bread
Vegetable Side Dishes for Friendsgiving:
- Cranberry Pecan Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Cabbage, Radish, and Apple Slaw
- Glazed Green Bean Bundles
- Kale Salad with Apples and Bacon
- Autumn Broccoli Salad
- Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Drunken Mushrooms
- Classic Green Bean Casserole
- 1 thawed, whole turkey
- 3 tablespoon avocado oil
- 3 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- For the Maple Bourbon Glaze:
- 1 cup bourbon
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup butter
- Make sure your oven is clean and free of debris and spills. A dirty oven will produce smoke at the high temperatures required for this recipe.
- Place your oven rack at the second to last position. Placing it in the lowest position may risk burning your bird!
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
- Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey. If there is a plastic truss holding the legs together, remove it. We will not truss the turkey for this recipe.
- Rinse the turkey inside and out and drain water. Then, pat dry with paper towels.
- Put about one inch of water or broth in the bottom of your roasting pan. This will make sure that the oven does not produce excessive smoke during this high heat roast. Please don’t skip this step!
- Place turkey on roasting pan. Make sure you are placing it on a rack, not on the bottom of the pan, which should be full of water or broth to prevent smoking.
- Rub turkey with avocado oil*, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme and garlic powder.
- Make aluminum foil covers for each drumstick to prevent burning.
- Roast for the following, turning the bird 180 degrees about halfway through your cook time. My 14 lb bird took about 1.5 hours.
- The turkey is done when your instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part of BOTH the breast and the thigh.
- For the glaze:
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Stir in bourbon and maple syrup.
- Once glaze comes to a boil, lower heat to low-medium heat and allow to thicken for about 10 minutes.
- Apply the glaze to the fully cooked turkey and allow to set for 10-15 minutes prior to carving turkey.
Please do not stuff the turkey with stuffing or anything else. The body cavity needs to be left open to allow the heat to travel inside of the bird for even cooking.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 537mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g