After the Swedish Mulled Wine (Glögg) I just made, I am in the mood for more mulled wine. That stuff was amazing! So Mulled Wine Turkey… That’s a thing? This Mulled Wine Turkey recipe skips the sugar and vodka found in the glögg, but it keeps the wine, spices, and orange zest. This might have some potential. Sill, I was hesitant and kept looking for a turkey recipe, but I kept coming back to this one. It intrigued me, and I knew I had to try it. So Mulled Wine Turkey. It’s a thing.
Mulled wine + turkey? Sounds a bit strange, but you have to trust me on this one. This may just be the best turkey I’ve ever made/had/been in the presence of.
I feel like Christmas and Thanksgiving recipes should be really complicated because they are special occasions, but this recipe is surprisingly simple. Mulled Wine Turkey has 9 ingredients, and they were all easy to find. In fact, I had all but the wine and turkey on hand.
I went with a generic turkey from Whole Foods instead of the brand mentioned in the recipe. It was mostly out of convenience because I couldn’t find the brand mentioned anywhere near me.
I also opted for my standard $3 Three Wishes Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s ridiculously cheap and actually drinkable. I highly recommend trying it, even if it’s just for cooking.
There’s no actual mulled wine in the ingredients, but The red wine and spices sound a lot like the real thing. If you have your heart season mulled wine this season (and who doesn’t?) I have a few suggestions. There’s the aforementioned Swedish Mulled Wine, this Slow Cooker Mulled Wine that adds a touch of cranberry, or this traditional Spiced or Mulled Wine recipe that can easily be made on the stove. Huge bonus on the last one—it will make your house smell like Christmas 🎄
This recipe started out like most turkey recipes. Rinse the turkey and thoroughly pat it dry, no biggie. It’s not specified, but I opted to use a roasting pan with a rack. It tends to cook the turkey more evenly and keeps it from getting soggy on the bottom.
Next up was mulling the wine and spices. I used a 2.5-quart saucepan for this step and prepped the butter and orange zest mixture while I waited for it to come to a boil. Just be sure to keep a close eye on the wine! When it came to a boil, it bubbled a lot and expanded. It almost boiled over.
Once the mulled wine disaster was averted, I poured the wine over the buttered turkey and popped it into the preheated oven. My turkey was smaller than the size specified (12 pounds vs. 14-16 pounds), so I used instructions from The Kitchn (the same ones I used at Thanksgiving when my turkey was larger than specified).
At 13 minutes per pound, that came to 156 minutes or 2 hours 36 minutes. I basted the turkey every 30 minutes and started checking the temperature at the 2-hour mark. I’m so glad I did because my turkey was ready 20 minutes before I thought it would be. Here’s how my time broke down:
- 10 minutes to prep
- 2 hours 10 minutes to cook
- 2 hours 20 minutes total
By the way…
Have you ever noticed that while turkeys come with a plastic piece securing the legs, but whole chickens don’t? Personally, I like to tie the legs of whole poultry, but I got curious about that convenient little thingy and did some research.
That piece is called a hock lock, and it’s made of heat-resistant nylon that can usually withstand up to 500℉. It’s perfectly safe to leave it on, but you can remove it if you find it unattractive (you will likely have to cut it out).
I’ve also read that leaving the legs unsecured helps the turkey cook more evenly. The reason is the secured legs are pressed up against the turkey, and the heat can’t circulate around them. Although less attractive (in my opinion), leaving the legs loose allows the heat to circulate all around the legs and thighs, cooking them faster and making it less likely the breast will dry out. It makes sense, and I might have to test the theory next time I make a whole turkey.