Spicy Turkey Breast & Kickin' Cranberry Sauce

8:47:00 PM

Do you want to make turkey for your Thanksgiving celebration, but you want something a little different than your standard bird? Maybe you're a little intimidated by cooking turkey? Please, read on, I have the recipe for you!

For 10 years now, my husband and I have hosted a Pre-Thanksgiving celebration with our friends. We love and are thankful for our families--but that is what Thanksgiving Day is for. This way, we can also celebrate our awesome friends.

This year, our town decided to repave our road during the month of November. What that meant was...no parking on the street. There was no way we had the parking for 10-11 families in our yard. Luckily, we had a friend step up, and I brought the turkey and cranberry sauce, and everyone else chipped in with a side or a dessert.

But for the last, oh, maybe eight years or so, we've been doing 2 turkey breast. I have found that doing 2 "flavors" of turkey isn't much more challenging than one. One of my recipes is more of the traditional route...I'll share that one a little later this week.

The recipe that is always the favorite is the Barbecue Spice Turkey. I have a spicy cranberry sauce that goes with it. Originally, I used a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. I no longer have the original magazine reference, but you can find it on their site here. But as the years have gone by, I have tweaked the recipe--adding some brown sugar to the rub, taking out some heat in the sauce. And I've always done the actual cooking differently, since our turkey breasts are twice as big as the ones for Better Homes and Garden's recipe!

The big thing that you need if you're going to cook a turkey is an instant read thermometer. You don't need a roasting pan. You don't need a basting bulb...but a basting brush or bulb is nice. I'm going to go through this step by step.

Spicy Rubbed Turkey:

1 6-7 lb turkey breast (assume 1/3-1/2 lb per person) The big thing is buy it with enough time to thaw  in the fridge if frozen.
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Unwrap the turkey. Make sure you check for giblets and gravy packs--depending on the packager, you may find these items in your package. Place turkey breast into roasting pan (I just use a 9x13 baking pan) with the breast up.

 Pull the skin of the turkey so it is loosened.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl.

Rub the spices all over the turkey, including the cavity. Pull the skin up and rub the spices under the skin, too.

Tent aluminum foil loosely over the bird. Make sure the dull side of the foil is facing out.

Roast the turkey for 1 hour. After the hour, take the foil off and pour 1 cup of water over the turkey. Every 20 minute after that, baste the turkey with the juices. Roast until the thermometer reads 170 when inserted into the thickest portion of the bird (but doesn't hit a bone).

Take the turkey out and put some clean foil over it. Leave it alone for at least 20 minutes before you carve it. This will allow the juices to recirculate and make that bird super juicy.

Kickin' Cranberry Sauce

1/2 cup chopped onion
cooking spray
1 16 oz can whole cranberry sauce
1/4 cup hot sauce (I use Frank's)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcecstershire Sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper

Heat medium sauce pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Saute the onion until soft.

Dump the rest of the ingredient into the sauce pan. Cook until heated through.

Serve the meat and sauce together.

You Might Also Like


  1. Looks delish! That spicy cranberry sauce I'm putting on my list to try

  2. This looks amazing - I love the idea of doing two flavors of turkey, one with more heat. I really enjoy Thanksgiving foods but around here they are often fairly mild so this would be a great alternative.

  3. This looks yummy! Sounds like a great Thanksgiving dish. Megan

  4. Seriously, YUM! I would MUCH rather this on Thanksgiving than plain ol' dry turkey! PLUS, I'm not a brown gravy person, but I love sauces, so this is the perfect fix :)
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Yum Yum Yum. This is going on my must-try list. Thank you for sharing!!!

  6. oh how I wish my husband would eat this! I may have to make it just for myself :) Please share this with Iron Chef Mom: Cranberries! http://www.addhousewife.com/2012/11/iron-chef-mom-cranberries.html

  7. YUM!
    I would love to have you share this and/or any other recipe of yours at Wednesday Extravaganza - my Link Party with a special something and a Giveaway this week. Here is the link:

    Can't wait to see you there :)