When cooked turkey is treated to a glaze of maple and cider, this classic holiday favorite elevates to new heights. Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary and garlic supplement the smoky flavor of maple, the secret ingredient in this dish. Serve the turkey with a side of tangy cherry compote. This recipe is not only a unique meal for your family and friends this Thanksgiving, but any time of the year.
Maple Cider Roasted Turkey
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme, plus 2 sprigs
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary, plus 2 sprigs
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 (10-pound) fresh turkey, giblets and neck removed, cleaned and well-dried with paper towels inside and out
- Kosher salt & pepper
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 head garlic, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. apple cider
- 1 (16-ounce) package frozen cherries
- 1 tsp. mustard powder
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
- Boil apple cider and maple syrup in a heavy, large saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to ½ cup, or for about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and mix in chopped thyme and rosemary. Whisk in butter. Cover and refrigerate until cool, for about 2 hours.
- Adjust rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 325°F.
- Rub kosher salt and pepper inside the breast cavity and stuff the herb sprigs, onion, garlic and bay leaves inside. Set the bird on a roasting rack in a roasting pan breast side up. Loosen breast skin and generously brush half the butter mixture under and over the skin. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Tent the bird with foil, and roast for 2 hours. Remove the foil and baste with the remaining butter mixture. Increase oven temperature to 425°F, and continue to roast about 45 minutes longer or until an instant read thermometer registers 170°F in the thigh of the bird.
- To make the cherry compote: Place ½ cup apple cider, cherries, mustard powder, maple syrup, cinnamon stick and cloves in a medium saucepan. Simmer until sauce starts to reduce. Combine 1 tablespoon of apple cider with cornstarch, then stir into cherry sauce. Simmer until slightly thickened. Stir in cider vinegar. Cool.
Remove turkey from the oven, tent with foil and set aside to rest for about 15 minutes before carving. Serve with cherry compote.