“All your guests will be talking about this turkey!” says Katie Lee Biegel.
Her “sweet, salty and tangy” Thanksgiving main dish has flavors that are “different from a traditional turkey recipe, but still familiar, so it makes a nice compliment to all of the usual Thanksgiving side dishes,” she tells PEOPLE.
Not only will it taste great, it’ll be a gorgeous centerpiece as well.
“The sugars in the barbecue sauce caramelize, giving the skin a beautiful golden-brown glow that will look like it came off the cover of a magazine,” says Biegel.
Katie Lee Biegel’s Barbecue Roast Turkey
1 (14-16 lb.) whole turkey
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. chile powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. cayenne
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup barbecue sauce
2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
1. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Place turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.
2. Stir together salt, chili powder, black pepper, paprika, oregano, sage, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne in a small bowl.
3. Stir together butter and 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture in a small bowl. Using your fingers, loosen the skin of the turkey. Spread butter mixture under the skin and all over the turkey. Sprinkle remaining spice mixture all over the outside and inside of turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Place turkey, uncovered, in refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator, and allow turkey to stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 425°. Place turkey in oven, and reduce oven temperature to 350°.
5. Stir together barbecue sauce and broth in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer and cook until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. After roasting 20 minutes, baste turkey with barbecue sauce mixture, and pour 2 cups water into bottom of roasting pan. Continue roasting turkey, basting every 20 minutes and adding water as needed in ½ cup increments if pan becomes dry. Tent turkey with foil after 1 hour of cooking time, or as skin starts to darken. Roast until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 160°, 2 hours, 30 minutes to 3 hours total. Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Tent with foil; let turkey rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 hours, 30 minutes (includes marinating time)
Quick tip! “Resting your cooked bird is one of the most important steps. It will stay hot, I promise,” says Biegel. This gives the turkey time to reabsorb the juices so they don’t spill out when sliced.