Texas Two-Step Turkey Beauty, as seen on The Kitchen, Season 32.
Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson

Sunny's Texas Two-Step Turkey

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 14 hr 20 min (includes chilling and resting times)
  • Active: 1 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
As a military brat and USAF veteran, I’ve lived in many states and countries, and Texas is one of my favorite states. One thing we all hear about is true; everything is BIGGER in Texas. That concept is everywhere from the belt buckles to the 10-gallon cowboy hats, but the real win is when “BIG” trickles down to food and flavors. Yellow mustard is a staple in the state, and this turkey recipe delivers on all things expected from the flavors of Texas for Thanksgiving. In just two steps, your bird will dance with bright flavors to balance the heavy flavors of the season.


Compound Butter:



Special equipment:
kitchen twine
  1. Make the compound butter. In a medium bowl, add the butter, paprika, sage, thyme, garlic and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix with a rubber spatula. Add to a resealable plastic bag and snip a corner off with scissors.
  2. Butter the turkey. Fit a sheet pan with a wire rack and set aside. Using your finger or the rounded handle end of a wooden spoon, separate the skin from the meat on the breast and the legs of the turkey. Use the bag to pipe the butter beneath the skin. Use your fingers over the skin to press and spread the butter beneath the skin. Pat the turkey down with paper towels until one pressed on it releases dry. Place on the sheet pan and refrigerate the turkey, UNCOVERED, for 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Roast the turkey. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and put it on the counter in a cool place. Allow it to come to room temperature for 2 hours. When ready to roast, transfer the turkey to a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Tie the ends of the drumsticks together with twine and tuck the wings underneath the body.
  4. While the turkey is coming to room temperature, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Place the turkey on the middle rack of the oven and pour enough beer into the pan to fill up to 1 to 2 inches. Roast, basting the turkey every 30 minutes with the beer in the pan, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the turkey (avoiding bone) registers 135 to 140 degrees F, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  6. Make the glaze. In a medium bowl, add the brown sugar, mustard, vinegar and a few grinds black pepper. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add water to loosen if necessary. Set aside.
  7. Once the turkey registers 135 to 140 degrees F, brush the glaze on the turkey every 20 minutes. Continue to roast until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F and the juices run clear, 30 minutes to 1 hour more.
  8. Remove the turkey from the oven and place a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top. Let rest for 10 to 20 minutes. Transfer the turkey to a platter and garnish the platter with lemon halves and sprigs of parsley and rosemary, if desired. Carve and serve.

Cook’s Note

Remember, if using a frozen turkey, start to thaw it in the refrigerator 2 to 3 days before preparing. Using a probe thermometer allows you to go about your business without having to check the internal temperature all the time.