Paprika-Glazed Turkey with Pumpkin Seed Bread Salad

Make sure the turkey is completely dry before rubbing its skin with the paprika butter. Plus: Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide

Paprika-Glazed Turkey with Pumpkin Seed Bread Salad
Photo: © Frances Janisch
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 45 mins


  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika

  • 1 tablespoon hot Hungarian paprika

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • One 18-pound turkey, at room temperature, neck and giblets reserved for another use

  • 3 cups water

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups Rich Turkey Stock or low-sodium chicken broth

  • Pumpkin Seed Bread Salad, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, blend the butter with the sweet and hot Hungarian paprikas and 1 tablespoon of the chopped thyme leaves. Season the paprika butter with salt and pepper. Refrigerate 6 tablespoons of the paprika butter for making the gravy. Using your fingers, carefully loosen the turkey breast skin. Spread 4 tablespoons of the remaining paprika butter under the skin, then rub it evenly over the breast. Rub 2 more tablespoons of the paprika butter all over the outside of the turkey.

  2. Set the turkey in a large roasting pan and roast in the lower third of the oven for 45 minutes. Add 2 cups of the water and the bay leaves to the pan and roast the turkey for 1 hour longer. Add the white wine and the remaining 1 cup of water. Continue roasting the bird for 1 hour and 15 minutes, then loosely cover the breast with foil. Roast the turkey for 1 hour longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into an inner thigh registers 165°.

  3. Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. Pour the pan juices into a large measuring cup. Skim off the fat, reserving 2 tablespoons.

  4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the reserved paprika butter in the 2 tablespoons of reserved fat. Stir in the flour and then whisk in the Rich Turkey Stock. Cook the gravy over moderately high heat, whisking frequently, until it is thickened and very smooth. Whisk in the pan juices and simmer the gravy over moderate heat, whisking from time to time, until no floury tastes remains, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 2 teaspoons of thyme and the remaining 4 tablespoons of reserved paprika butter. Season with salt and pepper. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy and the Pumpkin Seed Bread Salad.

Make Ahead

The paprika butter can be formed into a log, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Suggested Pairing

A medium-bodied sparkling rosé will tame the hot paprika in the glaze, while its fruitiness will complement the turkey meat.

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