Crisp Apple-Scented Roast Turkey With Cider-Calvados Gravy

By Saveur
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Nutrition per serving    (USDA % daily values)


The marinade seemed crazy but it was great.
Andrea Cutright   •  30 Nov   •  Report
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Ingredients for 8 servings

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 (10–12-lb.) turkey

2 lbs. mixed chicken legs and thighs

1 cup kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

5 yellow onions

39 garlic cloves

4 carrots

4 celery ribs with leaves

½ cup calvados (apple brandy), plus 4 teaspoons

6 ½ cups dry white wine

⅓ packed cup dark brown sugar

⅓ cup ground ancho chile powder

8 ⅓ cups fresh apple cider

6 granny smith apples

2 lightly packed cups fresh basil leaves, plus 8 leaves for garnish

4 tbsp. softened butter

¼ cup flour


1. The broth for the gravy may be made up to 3 days in advance. Lightly coat the bottom of a 12" skillet with extra-virgin olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add the neck and giblets from the turkey and mixed chicken legs and thighs; season to taste wit

2. A day before serving, brine the turkey, calculating 1 hour of brining for each pound. In a large plastic brining bag or stockpot, combine 1 cup of the salt, brown sugar, and chile powder. Put 2 cups of the cider, 35 cloves garlic, and 4 unpeeled, cored

3. Put turkey into brining bag. The turkey must be kept cold (brine should be 33°), so refrigerate it or bury the bag in ice in an oversize cooler, adding ice as necessary. Before cooking, bring the turkey close to room temperature for the shortest roasti


4. Remove the oven's center rack and arrange the remaining rack as low as possible. Heat oven to 450°. Choose a large shallow roasting pan, ideally 2" deep; if the pan is too deep, the turkey will steam instead of roasting. In the pan, cluster together re

6. As the bird cooks, baste it with the pan juices every 20 minutes using a spoon. After the first hour, remove the roasting pan from oven and, using two pot holders, carefully turn the turkey breast side up. Baste it with the pan juices and continue roas


7. Meanwhile, set the roasting pan over 2 burners to make the gravy. Skim off excess fat from pan juices and remove two-thirds of the vegetables from the pan. Cut the rest of the vegetables into small pieces. Add remaining ⅓ cup calvados, remaining ½ cup

8. Remove broth from refrigerator; skim off fat. Reheat all but 1 cup. Add two-thirds of the heated broth to the pan. Boil, stirring constantly, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Stir the remainder of the heated broth into the pan and bring to a bo

9. Stir 8 torn basil leaves into the gravy and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if necessary. Pour the gravy into a bowl or another serving vessel. Carve the turkey and arrange on a large platter. Serve with the gravy passed separa

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