Ancho Chile-Maple Glazed Roast Turkey

Ancho Chile-Maple Glazed Roast Turkey

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3.5 hours
  • Servings: 8 to 10

A nod to his restaurant Mesa Grill, this recipe from award-winning chef Bobby Flay makes a spectacular centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table. A simple glaze brings an earthy, lightly sweet note as well as beautiful colour to the turkey, while also ensuring it turns out moist and flavourful.


For the turkey:

  • 1 turkey, about 18 lb. (9 kg)
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbs. ancho chile powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (16 1/2 oz./515 g) pure maple syrup

For the fried sage:

  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 fresh sage leaves
  • Kosher salt


  • Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey (reserve for the gravy, if desired). Rinse the bird thoroughly with cold water and pat dry. Truss the turkey or simply tie the legs closed with butcher’s twine and place on a rack in a large roasting pan.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the entire surface with half of the melted butter. Lightly sprinkle the skin and cavity with salt and pepper.
  • Place the turkey in the oven and roast, basting with the remaining butter every 10 minutes, until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  • While the turkey is roasting, make the glaze: In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, ancho powder and maple syrup; set aside.
  • When the turkey is nicely golden brown, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue roasting the turkey for 2 1/2 hours more.
  • When an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 155°F (68°C), remove the turkey from the oven and brush with some of the maple glaze. Return the turkey to the oven and continue roasting, brushing with the glaze every 5 minutes, until the turkey reaches 165°F (74°C), about 30 minutes more.
  • Carefully transfer the turkey to a carving board, brush with more of the glaze and let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. The temperature of the bird will rise to 180°F (82°C) as it rests. Reserve the roasting pan with the drippings for making gravy, if desired.
  • To fry the sage, in a small fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the whole sage leaves and cook until dark green and crispy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried sage leaves to a paper towel–lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  • Carve the turkey and serve with gravy, if desired, and fried sage. Serves 8 to 10 people, with plenty for leftovers.
  • Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook: Explosive Flavors from the Southwestern Kitchen by Bobby Flay (Clarkson Potter, 2007)

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