Oxmoor House
Hands-On Time
40 Mins
Total Time
16 Hours 6 Mins
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.

How to Make It

Step 1

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

Step 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.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 500°.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

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Ratings & Reviews

Saraliza's Review

November 28, 2013

jwinkelman's Review

November 19, 2013
Best turkey ever. Seriously. We've made it twice since it was published and sort of regret the year we didn't make it. Don't be put off by the chiles. By the time all is said & done they add a sweet, slightly smoky flavor. Follow the gravy recipe as close as you can. First time we made it we forgot to put in the cilantro & lime and it was really good. Upon reheat, we added it and it was amazing. If you have some non-cilantro lovers, I would omit it (or make two gravies). If you like a little more heat, add more red & black pepper or leave the seeds in the chiles. Being Thanksgiving we didn't feel it was necessary. We've made it for guests, and they all simply love it.

wandawood's Review

December 28, 2011
This was the best turkey recipe ever!!!! We made it for Christmas dinner & both the kids & adults absolutely loved it. The spiciness of the peppers with the sweetness of the apple was absolutely divine!!! The turkey was so flavorful & juicy!!! Every piece of turkey was flavorful. There wasn't any bland pieces like you get with other recipes. Will definitely do this one again. My go to turkey recipe!!!! Thanks cooking light.

mrscmj's Review

November 27, 2011
My one tip: make sure you don't use your standard gravy recipe. I did and my gravy was lacking. Wish I had followed the recipe!

AnthonyStephens's Review

December 11, 2010
I have made this twice and both times it was excellent! The second time I placed half a poblano and some apple slices under the skin on top of each breast, this really added more pepper flavor to the meat!

NancyHW's Review

November 26, 2010
I made this for my annual family Thanksgiving dinner and I have not ever gotten more compliments than ever before. The comments made most were that it was a nice change to the traditional garlic/onion/sage that most people prepare but yet not strange enough to not feel like a wonderful Thanksgiving turkery dinner. I would allow more time to boil down for the gravy is the only hint I have!

tonikitchen's Review

November 26, 2010
You hit this one out of the park, CL! My guests and I agreed this was the best turkey we've ever had - moist, flavorful, just a hint of spice blended beautifully with the sweetness of the apples and cider. I will definitely make this again next year. I followed the recipe pretty closely and it came out great. Next time I would allow more time to reduce the gravy and perhaps cut down on the amount of broth since there were plenty of drippings.

johnflurry's Review

November 25, 2010
My wife made our Thanksgiving Turkey with this recipe and it was a crowd stopper. All the guests were amazed at the flavor and moistness. I usually don't prefer white meat but this time I had seconds. We did cook a 22 pound turkey so we had to doble the recipe. We adjusted the cook time as follows (500 degrees at 30 min, 350 for 120, 90, 60 and let it rest for 30 minutes.) It turned out perfect. Thanks! -@johnflurry

allisonjessee's Review

November 24, 2010
We used a chicken instead of a turkey for this recipe, but it was delicious! The spice of the poblano and the sweetness of the apple were great together. And the gravy was great (although we didn't have a ton of drippings since we used chicken). The meat was amazingly tender and just fell off the bone. I definitely recommend this!

Clockwork's Review

October 24, 2010
Wonderfully moist and flavorful. Followed the recipe exactly. The brine makes a huge difference and the meat retains an amazing flavor. The breast meat was beautifully moist and tasty(even as a leftover out of the microwave for lunch today). Would make again for a special occasion.