Succulent, Cider Roast Turkey, with tender glazed apples and pear makes the ultimate centerpiece for your holiday table. A joyous delight for one and all. Goes perfectly with Sherried Chestnut Stuffing and Apple-Fennel Compote.

Cider Roast Turkey
Recipe type: Main, Entree
Cuisine: British
Serves: 8
For The Turkey:
  • 10-14 pound turkey, giblets removed and kept
  • 1 pound Apple Pecan Dressing
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and halved
  • 2 carrots, halved
  • 1/2 stick salted butter, softened
  • 4 Golden Delicious apples, peeled but not cored
  • 4 Anjou pears, peeled but not cored
  • 10 ounces hard cider or Laird's Applejack (alcoholic)
For the Gravy:
  • 10 ounces hard cider
  • 20 ounces chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 Tablespoons red currant jelly
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190C)/fan 340 degrees F (170 degrees C)/gas 5.
  2. Wash and dry the turkey, removing any feathers. Pull out the giblets and the neck, then set aside. Lift up the skin that covers the neck opening, then stuff the stuffing up and under the skin, securing it tightly underneath with a skewer or two wooden cocktail sticks.
  3. Weigh the stuffed turkey, then calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per pound.
  4. Put the leeks and carrots along the bottom of a large roasting pan in a single layer - this will make a trivet for the turkey to sit on and add flavor to the gravy. Add the neck to the pan. Add the apples and pears.
  5. Sit the turkey on top and coat the breast all over with butter. Pour in the cider, cover with foil, then roast according to the weight and timing.
  6. Keep checking the pan - if the vegetables or fruit look like they're burning, add a splash of water or cider. At 30 minutes before the end of cooking, remove the foil and season generously. Remove the fruit gently with a spoon and set aside. To test that the turkey is ready, pierce the thigh through its thickest part; the juices should run clear.
  7. Take the turkey out and leave to rest, covered with a clean cloth towel. Can leave to rest for up to 1 hour.
  8. Now make the gravy. Drain the fat and juices from the pan into a sauceboat, discarding the vegetables and the neck. Place the pan on the stovetop, then pour in the additional cider, scraping up the flavor-filled crusty bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce the cider by half, then strain into a saucepan (this will save you cooking space later).
Per serving (with gravy) 704 kcalories, protein 82g, carbohydrate 21g, fat 32 g, saturated fat 11g, fibre 1g, salt 1.77 g

Recipe adapted from Good Food magazine, December 2007.

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