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Apple-Poblano Whole Roast Turkey

Oxmoor House
Hands-On time 40 mins
Total time 16 hrs, 6 mins
Yield 12 servings (serving size: 6 ounces turkey and about 1/4 cup gravy)
A hint of Southwest spice and chile heat blend with sweet apples for a crowd-pleasing change from traditional turkey.


  • Brine:
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, quartered lengthwise
  • Turkey:
  • 1 (12-pound) organic fresh turkey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 Gala apples, quartered and divided
  • 2 poblano chiles, quartered, seeded, and divided
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1.13 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Nutrition Information

  • calories 302
  • fat 3.4 g
  • satfat 1.7 g
  • monofat 0.5 g
  • polyfat 0.8 g
  • protein 55 g
  • carbohydrate 9.7 g
  • fiber 0.6 g
  • cholesterol 154 mg
  • iron 3.1 mg
  • sodium 637 mg
  • calcium 31 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare brine, combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well.

  2. To prepare turkey, remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve neck and giblets. Trim excess fat. Place a turkey-sized oven bag inside a second bag to form a double thickness. Place bags in a large stockpot. Place turkey inside inner bag. Add brine. Secure bags with several twist ties. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 500°.

  4. Remove turkey from bags; discard brine. Pat turkey dry. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine 1 tablespoon sugar and next 6 ingredients (through coriander) in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture under loosened skin over flesh. Place 1 apple quarter and 1 poblano quarter in the neck cavity; close skin flap. Arrange 5 apple quarters, 1 poblano quarter, and 1 cup cilantro leaves in the body cavity. Secure legs with kitchen twine. Arrange turkey, neck, and giblets on the rack of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange remaining 6 apple quarters and 6 poblano quarters in bottom of roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Place rack with turkey in pan. Roast at 500° for 30 minutes.

  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove turkey from oven). Place a foil tent over turkey breast. Pour 3 cups water in bottom of pan.

  6. Bake turkey at 350° for 40 minutes. Rotate turkey, and baste with 3/4 cup broth. Roast for 30 minutes; rotate turkey. Baste with 3/4 cup broth. Roast 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°. Remove from oven. Place turkey, breast side down, on a jelly-roll pan or cutting board. Let stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Serve breast side up. Chop giblets. Discard neck.

  7. Strain pan drippings through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent. Stir in reserved chopped giblets and garlic; sauté 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture; saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add drippings, remaining 1 1/2 cups broth, and 1 cup apple cider; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 3 cups (about 15 minutes). Strain through a sieve over a bowl, and discard solids. Stir in chopped cilantro and lime juice. Discard turkey skin; carve. Serve with gravy.