Jamaican Rum Glazed Turkey with a special Caribbean inspired Cornbread!

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While thinking of the menu for this year’s family thanksgiving dinner, I wanted to switch things up a bit . Although I love turkey and no one makes one quite like my mom, I wanted to add my own twist to our thanksgiving staples and this year.

Having been raised in a West Indian home, rum was incorporated in holiday drinks and desserts such as black cake, rum cake, ponche de crème, and sorrel. Feeling inspired by our recent trip to Jamaica, I decided to make our turkey using Jamaican rum and I must say it was delicious!

So as you gear up for the holiday season, this juicy turkey with a twist is a great addition to your family’s holiday dinner table. It features a hit of dark Jamaican rum mixed with medley of sugar and spices that will have your family asking for more!


10lb turkey

1/4 cup chicken seasoning (Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning is a great option)
2 tablespoons ground thyme

2 tablespoons dried sage
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 ground teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup melted butter
1 (900ml) container chicken broth
1 onion, cut into chunks
4 cloves garlic, minced

For glaze:

8 tablespoons butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup dark Jamaican rum


1. In a small bowl mix 2 cloves garlic, chicken seasoning, thyme, sage, paprika, turmeric, allspice, and nutmeg together. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat dry with paper towel. Rub turkey inside and out with spice mixture. double wrap  turkey with plastic wrap and Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and take turkey out the fridge and brush melted butter all over the turkey.

3. Combine chicken broth, onion, and remaining 2 cloves garlic in a roasting pan. Put turkey in the roasting pan with the breast down.

4. Place turkey in preheated oven and roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower temperature to 375 degrees.

5. While the turkey is cooking, combine the ingredients for your glaze in a small saucepan on medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil then simmer on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. When the mixture resembles a slightly thickened syrup-like texture, turn off the heat and remove the saucepan from the stove.

6. Begin to baste the turkey with the glaze after the turkey has roasted for at least 1 hour and continue basting the turkey every 20 minutes. The turkey will need to cook for at least 3-3.5 hours or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey leg registers 155 degrees. Be sure to check your turkey frequently. If you fine the turkey wings start to get too dark, wrap them with foil while it roasts.

7. Once finished, turn off the oven and brush more glaze on it to get that “freshly glazed” look. Cover your roasting pan and allow the turkey to cool before carving.

My second recipe is a sweet cornbread that includes West Indian mixed essence. Mixed essence has a deliciously unique flavor and can be found in many West Indian drinks and baked goods.


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2/3 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/2 tablespoon vanilla

1 tsp mixed essence

6 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a medium sized bowl combine the wet ingredients – egg, milk, vanilla, mixed essence and melted butter.
  2. Follow by combining the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder) in a large bowl.
  3. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the large bowl and stir until all ingredients are moistened and well combined. Try not to over mix your batter
  4. Pour the batter into 12” greased loaf pan.
  5. Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  6. Let your cornbread stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with your freshly made turkey along with your other holiday sides like macaroni and cheese or roasted winter vegetables.


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