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Herb-Roasted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy


Ingredients

Brining

  • 2 cups coarse kosher salt
  • 8 large fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons whole allspice
  • 1 16- to 17-pound turkey; giblets removed, neck reserved

Herb Butter and Gravy

  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh sage
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy) or other brandy

Roasting

  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, quartered, cored
  • 2 large onions, quartered

Recipe Preparation

Brine the Turkey

  • Line extra-large pot or bowl with two 13-gallon (or larger) plastic bags, 1 inside the other. Combine 1 quart water, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, and allspice in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until salt dissolves. Remove from heat. Add 1 quart cold water and cool to lukewarm. Pour into plastic bags; mix in remaining 6 quarts water. Wrap turkey neck and refrigerate. Submerge turkey in brine to cover completely, gathering bags tightly to eliminate any air; tie bags closed. Refrigerate turkey in brine in pot at least 18 hours and up to 20 hours.

  • Line large roasting pan with 4 layers of paper towels. Remove turkey from brine and drain well; discard brine. Place turkey in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Herb Butter and Gravy

  • Mix parsley, thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, and nutmeg in small bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup herb mixture to small bowl; mix in 1/2 cup butter.

  • Combine broth and apple cider in heavy large saucepan. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes. Pour broth reduction into bowl. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in same saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Whisk in broth reduction, then cream, Calvados, and remaining herb mixture. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until gravy base is thickened and reduced to 2 3/4 cups, whisking often, about 20 minutes. Cool gravy base slightly. DO AHEADGravy base and herb butter can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Roast the Turkey

  • Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Remove turkey from roasting pan; drain any accumulated juices from main cavity. Discard paper towels from roasting pan. Melt herb butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Brush bottom of roasting pan with some of herb butter. Return turkey to prepared pan. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place some apple quarters and onion quarters in main cavity. Brush remaining herb butter over turkey; sprinkle with pepper. Scatter remaining apples and onions around turkey in pan. Add reserved turkey neck to pan.

  • Roast turkey 1 hour. Baste with 1/2 cup apple cider. Roast turkey 30 minutes. Baste with remaining 1/2 cup cider. Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, basting turkey every 30 minutes with pan juices and covering breast loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 2 hours longer (3 1/2 hours total). Transfer turkey to platter; let stand at least 30 minutes before carving (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).

  • Discard apples, onions, and turkey neck from pan. Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup; spoon off fat from surface. Pour degreased juices into gravy base and bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Boil until gravy thickens enough to coat spoon and is reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Season gravy to taste with pepper.

Recipe by Jeanne Thiel Kelley,Reviews Section

The Recipe Trove

Herb Roasted Turkey With Apple Cider Gravy
from Bon Appetit Magazine, November 2003

Brining the turkey in the refrigerator for two days ensures an incredibly moist result. We do not recommend stuffing brined turkeys because the brine can make the stuffing too salty. A do-ahead gravy base eliminates last-minute stirring and thickening. Look for fresh bay leaves in the produce section.

Brining
8 quarts cold water
2 cups coarse kosher salt
8 large fresh or dried bay leaves
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons whole allspice
1 16- to 17-pound turkey giblets removed, neck reserved
Herb butter and gravy
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
3 tablespoons minced fresh sage
3 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups apple cider
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy) or other brandy
Roasting
2 large Granny Smith apples, quartered, cored
2 large onions, quartered
1 cup apple cider

To brine the turkey: Line extra-large pot or bowl with two 13-gallon (or larger) plastic bags, 1 inside the other. Combine 1 quart water, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, and allspice in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until salt dissolves. Remove from heat. Add 1 quart cold water and cool to lukewarm. Pour into plastic bags mix in remaining 6 quarts water. Wrap turkey neck and refrigerate. Submerge turkey in brine to cover completely, gathering bags tightly to eliminate any air tie bags closed. Refrigerate turkey in brine in pot at least 18 hours and up to 20 hours.

Line large roasting pan with 4 layers of paper towels. Remove turkey from brine and drain well discard brine. Place turkey in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For herb butter and gravy: Mix parsley, thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, and nutmeg in small bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup herb mixture to small bowl mix in 1/2 cup butter.

Combine broth and apple cider in heavy large saucepan. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes. Pour broth reduction into bowl. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in same saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour stir 1 minute. Whisk in broth reduction, then cream, Calvados, and remaining herb mixture. Bring to boil reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until gravy base is thickened and reduced to 2 3/4 cups, whisking often, about 20 minutes. Cool gravy base slightly. (Gravy base and herb butter can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

To roast the turkey: Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Remove turkey from roasting pan drain any accumulated juices from main cavity. Discard paper towels from roasting pan. Melt herb butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Brush bottom of roasting pan with some of herb butter. Return turkey to prepared pan. Tuck wing tips under tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place some apple quarters and onion quarters in main cavity. Brush remaining herb butter over turkey sprinkle with pepper. Scatter remaining apples and onions around turkey in pan. Add reserved turkey neck to pan.

Roast turkey 1 hour. Baste with 1/2 cup apple cider. Roast turkey 30 minutes. Baste with remaining 1/2 cup cider. Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, basting turkey every 30 minutes with pan juices and covering breast loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 2 hours longer (3 1/2 hours total). Transfer turkey to platter let stand at least 30 minutes before carving (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).

Discard apples, onions, and turkey neck from pan. Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup spoon off fat from surface. Pour degreased juices into gravy base and bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Boil until gravy thickens enough to coat spoon and is reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Season gravy to taste with pepper.
Serve turkey with gravy.


Spatchcocked Herb Roasted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy

3 large onions, roughly chopped with skins reserved
12 sprigs fresh thyme
1 quart low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken or turkey broth
1 whole (12- to 14-pound) turkey, neck and giblets reserved
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 fresh bay leaves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Scatter the onions and thyme sprigs across the bottom of the sheet pan.

In a large saucepan, combine the onion skins and broth. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat while you prepare the turkey.

To spatchcock the bird, place it in the sink, breast side down. Using poultry shears, cut lengthwise down both sides of the backbone from the neck to the tail. Remove the backbone and place it in the simmering stock along with the turkey neck that is usually inserted into the cavity of the bird. Continue to let the broth simmer.

Flip the bird over and press firmly with both hands to crack the breastbone and flatten the bird. Season the turkey liberally on all surfaces with salt and pepper and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Tuck the wing tips under the bottom of the bird and arrange the drumsticks so that they are not askew for the best presentation. Season the top of the turkey with the paprika.

Roast, rotating occasionally, until an instant read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the breast registers 150 degrees and the thighs registers 165 degrees, about 80 minutes.

When the turkey is about halfway done, start the gravy. Strain the broth, discarding the bones and onion skins.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until flour is golden brown, about 3 minutes. While still whisking, add the strained broth in a thin, steady stream until it it all incorporated. Whisk in the apple cider and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to about 4 cups, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover, and keep warm.

Transfer the cooked turkey to a cutting board set over a second rimmed baking sheet to catch the juices cover the bird with foil and let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the baking sheet, discarding any sprigs of thyme. Carefully pour any collected juices from out of the roasting pan through a fine-mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup. Skim off excess fat and discard. Add the cooking juices and reserved roasted onions to the gravy. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

To carve the turkey, first separate the leg quarters from the main part of the carcass: locate the joint between the drumstick and the thigh you should see white cartilage. Slice through this joint. (If you are on bone and having difficulty, your knife is in the wrong spot.) Serve the drumsticks whole and cut the dark meat from the thighs.

Remove the wings and cut at the joints into four pieces. Slice into the breast on one side of the breastbone with a sharp knife. Continue slicing, following the contour of the breastbone with the knife to remove as much meat as possible. As you continue to work, the breast meat should begin to pull away from the bone and you will have one large breast. Repeat with the other side. Place the breast on the cutting board and slice the breast meat on the bias into slices no thicker than 1/2 inch. Transfer the sliced meat, drumsticks and wings to a warm serving platter. Serve immediately with gravy on the side.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 18- to 21-pound fresh turkey, thawed if frozen, giblets and neck removed from cavity and reserved for gravy
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 3 to 4 lemons, each cut into quarters
  • 2 to 3 onions, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 cup dry white wine or water
  • 3 cups Giblet Stock or homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock

Rinse turkey with cool water, and pat dry with paper towels. Let stand, uncovered, 2 hours at room temperature.

Combine butter, lemon zest, parsley, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Using your fingers, gently loosen turkey skin from over the breast meat, and smear half the butter mixture under skin.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack on lowest level. Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack set in a heavy metal roasting pan. Fold wing tips under. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside cavity. Fill large cavity and neck cavity loosely with as many lemon and onion wedges as will fit comfortably.

Tie legs together loosely with kitchen twine. Fold neck flap under, and secure with toothpicks. Rub entire turkey with remaining herb butter, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper, pressing to adhere.

Cook 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Using a pastry brush, baste the turkey with any pan drippings. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue cooking 2 more hours, basting turkey and rotating pan every 30 minutes if pan gets too full, spoon out some of the juices, reserving them for gravy.

After 2 1/2 hours of cooking, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, avoiding the bone. The temperature should reach 160 degrees, and the turkey should be golden brown. (The internal temperature will continue to rise once turkey is out of oven. Ideal done temperature is 165 degrees.) If thighs are not yet fully cooked, baste turkey again, and continue cooking.

When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter, and let rest, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Pour the pan juices into a large glass measuring cup let stand until grease rises to the surface, about 10 minutes, then skim with a large spoon.

Meanwhile, place roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add wine or water, and bring to a boil deglaze pan by scraping up any browned bits from bottom with a wooden spoon. Add stock stir well, and return to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the defatted pan juices, and cook 5 minutes more you will have about 2 cups. Remove from heat, and season with the salt and pepper. Strain into a warm gravy boat, and serve with turkey.


Herb Roasted Turkey With Gravy

This recipe illustrates a few techniques that ensurea moist and flavorful – but healthy – turkey: Amixture of fresh herbs and olive oil stuffed betweenthe skin and the flesh imparts flavor and helps keepthe meat moist. The turkey is roasted with the skinon to keep in the moisture, but the skin is removedbefore serving. Avoiding the skin saves you 40calories and about 4 grams total fat per 3-oz servingof breast meat. Finally, the key to richly flavored, butlean, gravy is to make a giblet broth (our easy recipeis below) and de-fat pan drippings well.

1. Set oven rack on lowest shelf of oven preheatto 325 degrees. Coat a wire roasting rack, preferablya V-shaped rack, with cooking spray. Setrack in roasting pan.

2. Mix parsley, rosemary, thyme, garlic, lemonzest, salt, pepper and oil in small bowl. Placeturkey on cutting board. Remove giblets andneck from cavity and reserve for Giblet Broth.Reserve liver for another use. Pat turkey cavitydry with paper towels. Separate skin frombreast meat and upper portion of thigh withyour fingers, taking care not to pierce skin.

Smear herb mixture between skin and fleshover breast meat and upper thigh. Stuff cavitieswith onion quarters. Tuck wing tips behindback and tie drumsticks together with kitchentwine. Set turkey, breast side up, on preparedrack. Tent loosely with aluminum foil.

3. Roast turkey 2 hours. Remove foil and continueroasting until meat thermometer registers165-170 degrees when inserted in thickest partof breast and 175-180 degrees in innermostpart of thigh, 1 to 1 3/4 hours. (Check temperaturein both thigh and breast.)

4. While turkey roasts, make Giblet Broth (if youhave not made it in advance).

5. Transfer turkey to large clean cutting board.Cover loosely with foil and let rest at least 20minutes before carving. (While turkey restsyou can heat side dishes.) Pour roasting pandrippings into fat separator or glass measuringcup. Place in freezer to hasten separation of fatfrom lean drippings. Meanwhile, set roastingpan over 2 burners. Pour in wine (or cider or juice). Bring to a simmer over medium-high. heat, stirring to scrape up brown bits. Simmer1 to 2 minutes to intensify flavor. Pass througha strainer into medium saucepan. Add GibletBroth and bring to a simmer. Simmer severalminutes. Skim fat from the drippings you haveplaced in freezer stir into sauce. Stir cornstarchmixture gradually add to simmering sauce,whisking constantly, until lightly thickened and glossy.

6. Remove twine from turkey. Carve turkey,discarding skin, and serve.

YIELD: About 2 1/2 cups gravy and enoughturkey to serve 10, with leftovers.

NUTRITION FACTS: 3-oz skinless white meat(figures for skinless dark meat in parentheses)with 1/4 cup gravy: Calories: 195 (dark meat, 225).Total fat: 6 grams (9.5). Saturated fat: 1 gram (2).Cholesterol: 60 milligrams (75). Sodium: 135 milligrams(145). Carbohydrate: 3 grams (3): Fiber: 0gram (0). Protein: 26 grams (25).


Recipe Summary

  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1 ½ cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 12- to - 14-oz turkey, neck and giblets reserved for making gravy
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

In a large bucket, combine cider, 2 gallons cold water, salt and sugar, stirring well. Rinse turkey inside and out with cool water, then carefully place in bucket. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

In a bowl, combine butter, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead cover and chill. Let soften before continuing.)

Set oven rack in the lowest position preheat to 325°F. Remove turkey from brine pat dry with paper towels and discard brine. Place turkey breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Tuck wing tips under loosely tie legs together. Sprinkle turkey all over with salt and pepper. Gently loosen breast skin with your fingers and spread 1/4 cup of butter mixture over breast meat under skin. Spread remaining herb butter over outside of turkey. Pour broth into roasting pan.

Roast turkey, basting every 30 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reaches 165°F, about 3 hours. Cover breast with foil if it browns too quickly. Remove turkey from oven, transfer to a platter, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 turkey (about 12 pounds), thawed if frozen, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus 3 sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped (3 tablespoons)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 lemons, poked all over with a fork
  • 1 quart apple cider

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in lowest position. Remove packet of giblets and neck from cavity. Discard liver. Rinse remaining giblets and neck refrigerate until ready to make broth.

Turn turkey on its back and bend wing tips forward and underneath neck cavity of bird so they stay in place (you may have to break the bones).

In a small bowl, combine parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, 4 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using your fingers, carefully loosen skin of breast and around thighs and rub herb mixture under skin of both.

Season cavity with salt and pepper and loosely fill with lemons and rosemary sprigs. Using cotton kitchen twine, tie legs together so bird retains its shape and moisture during cooking.

Pour cider in bottom of pan. Set roasting rack on top. Lift turkey onto rack, breast side up rub with remaining tablespoon oil season generously with salt and pepper. Tent turkey loosely with foil. Roast 1 hour. Uncover and continue to roast, basting frequently with pan juices, until an instant read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh (avoiding bone) registers 170 degrees, 2 1/2 to 3 hours more. (Temperature will rise about 10 degrees as turkey rests.) Tent with foil if browning too quickly add water if pan becomes dry. Cover loosely with foil, and let stand 30 minutes before carving. Serve with roasted vegetables.


Directions

Brown turkey on all sides in oil in a large pot over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Remove from pot. Add wine to pot, scraping up browned bits from bottom. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, sage and cloves to pot.

Place turkey, meaty side down, on vegetables. Add cider, broth, 1/2 cup brandy and salt. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer 1-1/2 hours or until internal temperature registers 165 degrees F.

Remove breast to platter when cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, strain liquid remaining in pot through sieve into bowl. Discard solids. Return liquid to pot, boil to reduce to about 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Add cream and remaining tablespoon brandy. Bring to simmer. Mix 2 tablespoons water and cornstarch in small bowl. Stir into pot, cook over medium heat, whisking gently until thickened slightly, about one minute. Taste test for seasonings. Slice turkey and serve with sauce.


Directions

Remove turkey from roasting pan. In a small cup, combine the flour and 1/2 cup of the stock set aside. Skim any visible fat from roasting pan with cheesecloth. Place the roasting pan on the stove and turn the burner to medium heat. (Remember there might be fat remaining in the pan or on the outside, so don't let the heat get too hot--it will burst into flames!) Vigorously scrape the bottom of the pan with a long-handled spoon to deglaze it, and add the apple cider. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half--it should take about 5 minutes at medium heat. Slowly add the remaining 3 1/2 c stock whisk it into the cider mixture. Allow to simmer for 6 minutes. Whisk in the flour and stock mixture bring gravy to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. The gravy will start to thicken. Add salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and strain.

Serving size is 2 tablespoons this makes about 16 servings--plenty for leftovers.