Cider Brined and Glazed Turkey


Makes 12 servings

Begin brining two days ahead.


4 quarts apple cider, divided
1 1/2 c kosher salt
1/4 c whole allspice
8 bay leaves
4 quarts cold water
1 20-pound turkey (neck and gizzard reserved)

Sage Broth

4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 onion, quartered
2 celery stalks, cut into 4 pieces
8 fresh sage leaves
3 Tablespoons cornstarch


2 c apple cider
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted GFCF "butter"


For brine:

Simmer 1 quart apple cider, salt, allspice, and bay leaves in 20-quart pot 5 minutes, stirring often. Cool completely. Add remaining 3 quarts cider and 4 quarts water. Place turkey in brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Tip- if you live in the north, you may be able to put the pot outside if your temp is between 32 and 40 degrees.  If you don't have a large enough pot, you can use a cooler and put well-wrapped (so they don't leak into the brine) bags of ice, or ice blocks in the cooler to keep it cold).

Drain turkey and rinse. Arrange on several layers of paper towels in roasting pan. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.

For broth:

Simmer all ingredients in large saucepan 45 minutes. Strain sage broth into bowl.

For glaze:

Boil cider in saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Whisk in "butter". Cool completely.

Set rack at lowest position in oven; preheat to 325°F. Remove paper towels from roasting pan. Pat main and neck cavities of turkey dry; stuff loosely with stuffing or an orange, cut in half. Place turkey in pan, tuck wings under, and tie legs together loosely.

Roast turkey 1 hour. Brush with some of glaze. Roast until beginning to brown, about 1 hour. Cover with foil. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, brushing with glaze every 30 minutes and adding up to 1 cup water to pan if drippings begin to burn, about 3 hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter; tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes.

For gravy:

Pour pan juices into large measuring cup. Spoon off fat. Reserve 3 tablespoons fat and degreased juices. Pour sage broth into roasting pan. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Combine 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water, whisk into broth and drippings, add slowly until desired thickness, cook about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Strain into sauceboat. Serve turkey with gravy.

Cider Brined Turkey