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Holiday Turkey Recipes

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Buttery Cider-Glazed Turkey

Among the many trimmings you choose to serve beside this beautiful bird, gravy is one of the most important. For step-by-step instructions on how to make this essential part of everyone's Thanksgiving meal, check out our guide: How to Make Gravy. It's easier than you think.

Makes 12 servings

Prep: 45 minutes Cook: 40 minutes Roast: 3 hours* Stand: 15 minutes Oven: 325°F

1 12- to 14-pound turkey
Kosher salt or salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 small onion, peeled and cut into wedges
7 medium baking apples, such as Golden Delicious, Granny Smith or Braeburn, cored and cut into eighths
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups apple cider
5 cinnamon sticks (about 3-inch lengths), broken
cup butter
cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
3 fresh herb sprigs such as Italian parsley, watercress or dill (optional)

Buttery Cider-Glazed Turkey - Step 2 Buttery Cider-Glazed Turkey - Step 3 Buttery Cider-Glazed Turkey - Step 6

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove the bag of giblets and the neck from inside the turkey. You may need to release a clamp or band of skin around the legs to make preparation easier. Season body cavity generously with salt and pepper. Rub one of the cut garlic cloves over body cavity.

  2. Pull neck skin to the back; fasten with a skewer. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. If needed, re-secure the ends of the drumsticks with the leg clamp or the band of skin across the tail. If there isn't a clamp or band of skin, tie drumsticks securely to the tail with 100%-cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under the back. Place remaining garlic cloves, onion and eight apple wedges in cavity.

  3. Brush turkey with the 2 tablespoons melted butter. Season with additional salt and pepper. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle. The thermometer should not touch bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast turkey for 2 hours. If desired, cut the band of skin or string between drumsticks to allow thighs to roast evenly. (If your turkey has a metal or plastic clamp, leave it intact.)

  4. Toss remaining apple wedges with lemon juice. Place apples around turkey and cover loosely again with foil. Roast 30 minutes more.

  5. While turkey is roasting, in a small saucepan bring apple cider and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until cider is reduced to 2/3 cup. Add 1/3 cup butter, the brown sugar and thyme. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks.

  6. Remove foil from turkey; brush turkey with the cider mixture and also drizzle it over apple wedges. Continue roasting, uncovered, basting bird and drizzling fruit with cider mixture every 10 minutes. The turkey is safely cooked when it reaches the safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. (Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature in the wing and breast.) For reasons of personal preference you may choose to cook the turkey to higher temperatures. Remove turkey from oven; discard cavity ingredients. Transfer turkey to a serving platter. Surround with roasted apples and herb sprigs, if desired. Cover with foil; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.


*Roasting time is approximate. Always use a food thermometer to determine that the turkey has reached at least 165°F throughout.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING: 556 cal., 17 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 283 mg chol., 258 mg sodium, 21 g carbo., 2 g dietary fiber, 76 g protein.