Cider-Glazed Turkey

Roasted apples surround this golden brown Thanksgiving turkey, making for an astounding flavor combination.

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  • 1 12 - 14 pound turkey
  • Kosher salt or salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 medium baking apple, cored and cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 6 medium or 8 small baking apples, cored and cut into eighths (such as Golden Delicious, Gravenstein, Granny Smith, Winesap, Rhode Island Greening, Braeburn, Russet, Lady (use 2 lady apples for each medium apple; leave whole)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh apple cider
  • 5 3-inch sticks cinnamon, broken
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Rinse turkey well and pat dry with paper towels. Season inside cavity generously with salt and pepper. Rub one of the cut garlic cloves on inside cavity. Place garlic cloves, onion, and the first apple in cavity.
Pull turkey skin to back; fasten with skewer. If a band of skin crosses the tail, tuck drumsticks under band. If no band, tie drumsticks securely to tail. Twist wing tips under back. Brush turkey with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Place bird, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into center of one of inside thigh muscles, but not touching bone. Cover bird loosely with foil. Roast about 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours or until thermometer registers 160 degrees F. (Cut band of skin or string between drumsticks after 2-1/2 hours.)
Toss apple wedges with lemon juice. Place apples around turkey. Continue to roast, covered with foil, for 30 minutes more.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan bring apple cider and cinnamon sticks to boiling. Reduce heat and boil steadily about 30 minutes or until cider is reduced to 2/3 cup. Add 1/3 cup butter, brown sugar, and thyme. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks.
Remove foil from turkey; brush turkey and drizzle apples with the cider mixture. Continue roasting, uncovered, until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F, brushing bird and drizzling cider mixture over fruit every 10 minutes. Remove turkey from oven; discard cavity ingredients. Transfer roasted bird to a large serving platter. Surround with apples. Cover with foil; let stand 15 minutes before carving turkey.
Pour pan drippings into a large measuring cup. Scrape the browned bits from the pan into the cup. Skim and reserve fat from the drippings. Pour 1/4 cup of the fat into a medium saucepan (discard remaining fat). Stir in flour. Add enough broth to remaining drippings to equal 2 1/2 cups; add broth mixture all at once to flour mixture in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Makes 12 servings.


  • Turkey Breast Option:

    Use two 2- to 2 1/2- pound turkey breast portions with bone. Place, bone side down, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and brush lightly with oil. Roast in a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes. Place apples around turkey. Brush turkey and drizzle apples with cider mixture. Roast, uncovered, 30 to 45 minutes more or until juices run clear (170 degrees F), glazing two more times. Makes 12 servings.

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 725, Fat, total (g) 35, chol. (mg) 262, sat. fat (g) 12, carb. (g) 24, Monounsaturated fat (g) 12, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 7, fiber (g) 2, sugar (g) 19, pro. (g) 74, vit. A (IU) 340, vit. C (mg) 5, Thiamin (mg) 0, Riboflavin (mg) 1, Niacin (mg) 13, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 1, Folate (g) 24, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (g) 1, sodium (mg) 479, Potassium (mg) 864, calcium (mg) 91, iron (mg) 6, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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