Honey Riesling Bourbon Red Turkey

1 heritage turkey (6-8 pounds), heart and gizzards, giblets reserved

1¼ cup Riesling

3/4 cup honey

2 teaspoons salt, optional

Freshly ground pepper, optional

Heat oven to 325 degrees. For a moist, succulent bird the rule is low and slow.

To prep the bird: Cut the wing tips off or tuck them under the bird so that they don't over brown. You can also cover the ends of the drumsticks with foil. The turkey will take 3 to 4 hours to cook.

To cook: Place turkey breast-up in a v-rack in a roasting pan. This keeps the bird elevated, allowing for heat circulation, cooking evenly with crisp skin on all sides.

In a measuring cup, stir wine and honey until completely combined. Using a baster, apply ½ cup liquid to the surface of the bird. Baste the turkey periodically with the honey-Riesling mixture. Turn the pan in the oven if you notice any hot-spots where one part of the turkey seems to be cooking faster than the rest.

Halfway through cooking, flip the bird to breast-side down (you can do this by inserting a sturdy long wooden spoon into the cavity with one hand and tongs in your other hand to guide the bird while you flip it).

During the last 20 minutes of cooking, turn the heat up to 400 degrees to get a nice caramelized skin. This is not the time to leave the kitchen! You really have to watch so it doesn't get too crispy and burn.

The bird is done when the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest 15-20 minutes before carving. Resting helps the meat retain moisture and it's easier to handle.

Serves six to eight.

Amanda Olsen, Apartment Farm blog, from

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