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The Milk Street Cookbook

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A smoky tea rub transforms the Thanksgiving bird

Tea-Rubbed Maple Turkey

3 to 3½ hours Plus 24 hours to season

Tea-Rubbed Maple Turkey

This aromatic, richly seasoned holiday turkey gets much of its flavor from lapsang souchong, a smoked black Chinese tea. We added the flavor in two layers. First, we used loose tea to make a flavorful rub for the meat. We then mirrored that flavor by using brewed tea as part of a rich maple glaze. To brew the tea, steep eight tea bags in ¾ cup boiling water; let sit until cooled, then squeeze out all the liquid from the tea bags. You should have ½ cup brewed tea. If using a frozen turkey, make sure it is completely thawed. And if your turkey has a pop-up thermometer, remove and discard it before rubbing the bird with the tea rub.

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