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Grossy’s Guide to The Duke’s Mayo Bird

You are all well aware by now of my love affair with Duke’s Mayonnaise. If you aren’t - see: here, here and here! We have had a lot of fun together this year, so when the fine folks at Duke’s asked me to share my experience cooking their famous Duke's Mayo Bird recipe, I could not say no! I mean, we are talking about smothering an entire turkey in mayo and roasting it until it is extra golden and crispy??? HEAVEN!

WHY WOULD YOU COVER A TURKEY IN MAYO, you ask? Well, the mayo bastes the turkey as it roasts, guaranteeing you a crispy skin on the outside and juicy meat on the inside!

Buckle up as I walk you through the easiest and tastiest way to turkey! Or course, I made a few adjustments along the way, because I am me and I cannot not do that! To get you EXTRA excited, I am showing you the end result first! Check this gorgeousness out:

Ok now it’s time to get cooking. Don’t forget, the written recipe is HERE. Step-by-steps start now!

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grab your fully defrosted turkey and a sheet pan. Your turkey should ideally be room temperature as well. You don’t ever want to cook cold meat! Take it out of the fridge a few hours before roasting if possible. I know it’s early but it’s Thanksgiving!

Unwrap your turkey and remove the giblets from the inside of the turkey. I do this in my sink so that it doesn’t make a mess. Place the turkey on the sheet pan and pat it completely dry. You want to pat it dry so that the skin has the best chance at getting crispy. Wet skin will not get crispy!

My turkey is about 13 lbs, which is right in the sweet spot for this recipe!

2. While your turkey hangs out on the pan, let’s get all of your ingredients prepped so this runs smoothly. This is one of my favorite parts of cooking, and I found it especially helpful with this recipe. This mix of ingredients is so lovely and I am obsessed with the hits of orange, the white wine and the garlic!

I want to point out that I cut down the amount of dried sage to 1 tablespoon and I chopped up a bunch of fresh sage instead and added it. Either way works, but I wanted to use some fresh herbs in the mix. Also, after making this I realized I had plenty of the mayo rub left over (a little under half of the mix) so you could technically do about ¾ of a cup of mayo instead of a cup.

3. Time to make your mayo mix. This is essentially a face mask for your turkey. I do not recommend this on humans, but it’s a spectacular idea for turkeys. The mayo does an incredible job of making the turkey brown and crisp.

4. This looks and smells incredible!

5. Take what’s left of your ingredients and grab your bird. It’s go time!

6. Stuff the orange slices and the garlic into the cavity of the turkey. Then use your twine to tie the legs of the turkey together tightly. There is no “hack” here, just tie them in whatever knot makes you happy. I really wanna say you “can knot” go wrong, but I will resist the urge!

The Duke’s recipe calls for you to place some of the mayo mixture inside the cavity of the bird, but I did not do this part based on my experiences with stuffing birds.

7. We are almost ready to smother the bird in mayo, but first you will want to get your hands under the skin of the bird and loosen it up, creating space for the mayo to go under the skin! It’s not glamorous work, but it’s worth it.

8. Transfer your bird to your roasting pan. Tuck the wings behind the turkey - this takes a little muscle but you can do it! Pour your orange juice and wine into the bottom of the pan and let it combine.

Grab your mayo mixture and a brush (or you can use your hands) and little-by-little coat your bird all over in that mayo magic. I want to point out that you should not go thicker with the mayo than what you see in my photo. A nice solid coating is plenty! If you do a thicker layer mayo, everything will brown too quickly and you risk burning the skin of your bird!

9. And now for the easiest part: the roasting! Place your bird in your 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. After thirty minutes, drop the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees. Do not remove the turkey, just let it keep roasting while the temperature drops.

Cook your turkey for about 60-90 minutes longer. I set my timer in 30 minute increments and then check on the bird, rotating it in the oven for even cooking and making sure it’s not getting too dark. If it gets too dark, you can cover the dark spots with foil so they don’t burn.

10. You want your meat thermometer to read about 160-165, that’s how you know it’s done. Stick it into the meatiest part of the breast (don’t hit a bone) and let it capture the temperature. Remember that the bird will keep cooking after you take it out of the oven, and turkeys get dry really fast! Cover your gorgeous glowing bird with foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving.

11. I have been cooking turkeys for years (mostly on Thanksgiving) and have always gone the butter route. Consider me a changed man! Look how gorgeous this bird is. And trust me, it tasted even better! Bless you Duke’s!

Remember you can always get yourself some Duke’s at 20% off site wide with code “GROSSY20” at It’s not too late to get some before Thanksgiving! Your turkey (and your guests) will thank you!


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