I followed the brine recipe to the letter and used all of the same aromatics but that is where I stopped. I made this for a dinner with friends and no one really wanted gravy and I had totally forgotten about the butter and didn't have any on hand. I did mix a little cider and bourbon together and basted the turkey with it right and the end and then "glazed" it with some maple syrup for the last 5 to 7 minutes of cooking. This was by far the best turkey I have ever made or eaten. Followed the cooking time plus about 15 to 20 minutes to brown the skin and it was so moist and the flavor was incredible. It had a sweetness that wasn't obtrusive but reminded you what had been in the brine and makes for fantastic sandwiches. I will make this again and again!!
Maple-Cider Brined Turkey with Bourbon-Cider Gravy
Use your largest stockpot for brining the bird, or a brining bag.
More From Cooking Light
Total: 20 Hours, 40 Minutes
- 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.
Only you will be able to view, print, and edit this note.Add Note