Maple-infused roasted turkey with aromatic herbs, served with rich apple cider gravy. A delectable Thanksgiving centrepiece.
Preparation Time: 45 mins Cooking Time: 240 mins Serving: 6
- 1 whole uncooked turkey, self-basting, 8-10 lbs (or 10-12 lbs)
- 2 cups apple cider
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 2 ½ teaspoons grated lemon zest
- ¾ cup butter
- 2 cups quarter-chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 whole onion
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the apple cider and maple syrup to a boil. Reduce the mixture to about ½ cup, which should take around 15 to 25 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the lemon zest, half of the marjoram, and half of the thyme. Add the butter and stir until melted. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper as desired. Cover the saucepan, let it cool, and refrigerate. You can prepare this mixture a day before to save time.
- Preheat the oven to 375℉ (190℃) and position the oven rack in the lowest third.
- Remove any giblets or other internal parts from the turkey if included. Wash the turkey thoroughly and pat it dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan and stuff it with your desired stuffing or place a whole onion in the cavity.
- Gently loosen the turkey skin from the breast meat by sliding your fingers underneath it. Rub ½ cup of the prepared apple and maple butter mixture under the turkey skin, specifically on the breast meat.
- Rub another ¼ cup of the maple butter mixture all over the turkey skin.
- Arrange the chopped celery, carrots, and onions in the roasting pan around the turkey. Sprinkle the remaining thyme, marjoram, and chopped thyme over the vegetables, and pour 2 cups of chicken broth into the pan.
- Roast the turkey uncovered for 30 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 350℉ (180℃) and loosely cover the turkey with aluminium foil.
- Continue roasting the turkey until it becomes tender, basting it regularly with the accumulated juices. If you have a meat thermometer, roast until the thickest part of the thigh, breast, and wing reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). This will take approximately 3 to 4 hours for an unstuffed turkey or 4 to 5 hours for a stuffed turkey. If using stuffing, ensure that the internal temperature in the centre of the stuffing reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
- Once cooked, the turkey juices should run clear. Transfer the turkey to a platter and cover it with aluminium foil to rest. Reserve the juices in the roasting pan to make gravy.
- Gravy: Pour the pan juices into a measuring cup and allow them to settle. Spoon off and discard the fat that rises to the top. Add enough chicken stock to the juices to make 3 cups of liquid.
- Transfer the liquid (or use the roasting pan directly) to a saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium.
- In a small bowl, mix the remaining maple and apple butter mixture with 3 tablespoons of flour to make a paste. Whisk this mixture into the broth in the saucepan. Add the remaining fresh thyme and the bay leaf.
- Boil the mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens slightly and reduces.
- Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
- Serve the roasted turkey with the prepared gravy.
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