Randy Mayor; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
12 servings (serving size: 6 ounces turkey and about 3 tablespoons gravy)

This roasted turkey developed by Cooking Light Contributor Elizabeth Taliaferro is nearly perfect, having won the highest Cooking Light Test Kitchens rating.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 2

Combine the cider and 4 tablespoons corn syrup in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; set aside.

Step 3

Remove and reserve giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Lift the wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Combine poultry seasoning, sage, salt, and pepper. Rub seasoning mixture into skin and body cavity. Place half of the garlic, onion quarters, and apple quarters into the body cavity. Place turkey, breast side up, in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange remaining garlic, onion, and apple around turkey in pan. Insert a meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Baste turkey with cider syrup, and cover with foil. Bake at 375° an additional 2 hours and 15 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 180°, basting with cider syrup 4 times at regular intervals. Let stand for 10 minutes. Discard skin. Remove turkey from pan, reserving drippings for sauce. Place turkey on a platter; keep warm.

Step 4

Strain drippings through a colander into a bowl; discard solids. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings into bag;let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain the drippings into a bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.

Step 5

While turkey bakes, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the reserved giblets and neck; saute for 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Add broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Strain mixture through a colander into a bowl, discarding solids. Reserve 1/4 cup broth mixture. Combine the drippings and the remaining broth mixture in roasting pan on stovetop over medium heat, scraping the pan to loosen browned bits. Combine 1/4 cup reserved broth mixture and cornstarch; add to the roasting pan. Add 1 tablespoon corn syrup, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minutes. Serve gravy with turkey (gravy will be dark and thin).

Ratings & Reviews

cjcrino's Review

November 30, 2013
Best turkey recipe ever! It's the only one you'll ever need!

barbarafeltch08's Review

February 13, 2012

sarahw30's Review

December 21, 2010
Very good- here's my tweaking: I use whatever wine I have on hand to stand in for the cider (red or white works well). Also, I add a few drops of Fish sauce and pomegranate syrup to the basting mixture. Sounds wacky, but it adds a depth to the flavor without being overpowering. For the cavity I add a dried lime (my new secret ingredient in all savory dishes!!) to the mix.

Spangberg's Review

November 28, 2010
My second whole roasted turkey ever, and it turned out really good! Added extra apple cider to basting and extra cornstarch to thicken gravy a little more. Did not have poultry seasoning, so made my own with 2ts sage, 1 1/2ts thyme, 1 ts marjoram, 3/4ts rosemary, 1/2ts nutmeg and 1/2ts blackpepper. Used 1Tbs of this instead of poultry seasoning. I did found that the turkey was done sooner than estimated time.

Sibley's Review

November 25, 2010
Dry as a bone. Worst turkey I've ever made.

KevMike213's Review

January 09, 2010
This Turkey is the best. Easy to prepare and delicious.

lillieofthevaly's Review

November 27, 2009
I have made this turkey twice and it is great! It turns out super juicy and the gravy is awesome!

Patten's Review

November 30, 2008
great recipe! didn't use the dripping to make the gravy, they were a little sweet and the sugar caramelized on the pan. put aluminum foil in the roasting pan for easier clean up. turkey was incredibly moist. will definitely use this recipe again!