Maple-Cider Glazed Turkey with Gravy and Apple-Onion Stuffing starts with the most classic of fall beverages - apple cider.
It's used as a glaze for the turkey and to flavor the stuffing and gravy.
The recipe calls for the stuffing to be cooked in a casserole dish alongside the turkey. It can be cooked inside the bird, but the bird will take longer to cook.
As an alternative, the stuffing can be cooked separately, then stuffed on the platter just before bringing it to the table.
Maple-Cider Glazed Turkey with Gravy
and Apple-Onion Stuffing
For the glaze:
•2 cups maple syrup
•8 cups apple cider
•2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
•Salt and black pepper
For the turkey:
•4 medium yellow onions, quartered
•12- to 14-pound turkey
For the stuffing:
•4 tablespoons butter
•2 medium yellow onions, diced
•2 large shallots, finely chopped
•2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
•3 celery stalks, diced
•1 medium carrot, diced
•3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
•1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
•1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
•1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
•3 cups chicken or turkey broth
•2 eggs, beaten
•1 16-ounce bag stuffing cubes
For the gravy:
•2 cups chicken or turkey broth
•5 tablespoons cornstarch
•Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
For the glaze, in a large saucepan over medium-high, combine the maple syrup and cider. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the liquid is reduced by half. Whisk in the mustard, then season with salt and pepper.
Reserve 3 cups of the glaze to use with the gravy and stuffing (cover and refrigerate until needed). This can be done the day before, if desired.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large roasting pan, scatter onion quarters. Place turkey, breast up, on top of the onions. Pour the unreserved (about 2 cups) maple cider glaze all over the turkey. Be sure to pour some in the turkey's cavity and some under the skin.
Roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 160 degrees and the thickest part of the thigh reaches 170 degrees. During roasting, every 30 to 45 minutes baste the turkey with the juices in the pan. If the turkey begins to brown too much, cover the pan with foil.
Allow the turkey to rest in the pan for 10 minutes before moving it to a serving platter and covering it with foil. Set aside the roasting pan, leaving the drippings and onions in it.
When the turkey has an hour left to roast, make the stuffing. Coat a large casserole dish or 9- by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the butter. Add the onions, shallots and leeks. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender and translucent. Add the celery and carrot and saute for another 8 to 10 minutes, allowing the vegetables to slightly caramelize.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the apples, sage, thyme, walnuts (if using), broth, eggs and 2 cups of the reserved maple-cider glaze. Add the stuffing cubes and toss well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden and hot.
When the turkey is resting on the platter, make the gravy. Place the roasting pan with the onions and any remaining juices on the stove top.
Add the remaining 1 cup of maple-cider glaze. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
In a bowl, stir together the broth and cornstarch, then add it to the pan. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Strain the gravy through a mesh strainer, discarding the solids. Season with salt and pepper. Serve alongside the turkey and stuffing.
Thanksgiving is stressful enough without also having to break out the calculator and suffer through math class flashbacks. So leave the calculating to us and use this holiday cheat sheet to make your life - and cooking - a little easier. All serving estimates are generous to allow for plenty of seconds and leftovers.
For turkeys less than 16 pounds, estimate 1 pound per serving (this accounts for bone weight). For larger birds, a bit less is fine; they have a higher meat-to-bone ratio. But if your goal is to have ample leftovers, aim for 1 1/2 pounds per person whatever the turkey's size.
•For 8 people, buy a
•For 10 people, buy a
•For 12 people, buy an
•For 14 people, buy a
The big thaw?
The safest way to thaw a frozen turkey is in the refrigerator. You'll need about 24 hours per 4 to 5 pounds of turkey. You also can put the turkey in a sink of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes, and plan for about 30 minutes per pound.
Never brine a turkey for more than about 8 to 10 hours. Much longer and the meat will be too salty. Always keep the bird refrigerated during brining. If the turkey is too big, an ice-filled cooler stored outside works, too.
Roasting temperatures vary widely by recipe. Some go at a slow and steady 325 degreees. Others crank the heat to 400 degrees or 425 degrees for the first hour, then drop it down for the rest of the time.
However you roast, use an instant thermometer inserted at the innermost part of the thigh (without touching bone) to determine when your turkey is done. The meat needs to hit 165 degrees for safe eating, though some people say thigh meat tastes better at 170 degrees.
The following roasting time estimates are based on a stuffed turkey cooked at 325 degrees. Reduce cooking time by 20 to 40 minutes for turkeys that are not stuffed. And remember, a crowded oven cooks more slowly, so plan ahead if your bird needs to share the space.
•12-pound turkey: 3 to
•4 hours at 325 degrees
•15-pound turkey: 4 to
•4 1/2 hours at 325 degrees
•18-pound turkey: 4 1/2 to 5 hours at 325 degrees
•20-pound turkey: 5 to
•6 hours at 325 degrees
The turkey should never go directly from the oven to the table. It needs to rest at least 20 minutes for the juices to redistribute.
•Carrots: 1-pound bag makes 4 to 5 servings
•12-ounce package fresh cranberries makes 2 1/4 cups of sauce; 16-ounce can has 6 servings
•Gravy: plan for 1/3 cup of gravy per person
•Green beans: 1 1/2 pounds makes 6 to 8
•Stuffing: 14-ounce bag of stuffing makes about 11 servings