I've made this turkey three years in a row now for Thanksgiving and due to demand will probably be the go to recipe every year! It's moist and delicious every time! My family likes giblet gravy so haven't tried making the bourbon gravy so can't rating doesnt inlude it.
Maple-Cider Brined Turkey with Bourbon-Cider Gravy
Photo: Charles Masters
More From Cooking Light
Total: 20 Hours, 40 Minutes
Amount per serving
- Calories: 326
- Fat: 8.4g
- Saturated fat: 3.9g
- Monounsaturated fat: 2g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5g
- Protein: 51g
- Carbohydrate: 7g
- Fiber: 0.2g
- Cholesterol: 177mg
- Iron: 3.6mg
- Sodium: 566mg
- Calcium: 42mg
- 2 quarts apple cider
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
- 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 6 (2-inch) strips orange rind
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 gallon cold water
- 1 (12-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 apple, cut into wedges
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 sage sprig
- 1/2 orange, cut into wedges
- 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
- Cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1. To prepare brine, combine first 9 ingredients in a large stockpot over high heat; cook 6 minutes or until salt dissolves, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add 1 gallon cold water. Cool to room temperature.
- 2. To prepare turkey, remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve neck. Trim excess fat; add turkey to brine. Refrigerate 18 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
- 3. Preheat oven to 375°.
- 4. Remove turkey from brine; 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 3 tablespoons butter and next 3 ingredients (through 1/2 teaspoon pepper) in a small bowl; rub butter mixture under loosened skin and over breast and drumsticks. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Place apple and next 5 ingredients (through onion) in the body cavity. Secure legs with kitchen twine. Place turkey on the rack of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Place neck in bottom of roasting pan; place rack with turkey in pan. Bake at 375° for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cover turkey loosely with foil; bake an additional 45 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°. Remove from oven; place turkey on a cutting board. Let stand, covered, for 20 minutes; discard neck and skin.
- 5. To prepare gravy, place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour pan drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off one bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.
- 6. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add thyme and shallot; sauté 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup cider and bourbon; boil 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Combine 1/4 cup broth and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture, remaining 1 cup broth, and drippings to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until thickened. Stir in parsley and vinegar.
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