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Apple Cider Roasted Turkey

Posted by Denise on November 20, 2012

apple cider roasted turkey on platter
Sweet apple cider and a herbed butter gives Apple Cider Roasted Turkey a hint of sweetness and helps make the meat extra moist.

We were experimenting with different ways to cook turkey in order to change Thanksgiving dinner up a little. We love the traditional turkey, but sometimes we’re just in the mood to try new things. We got the inspiration for this wonderful Cider Roasted Turkey from Betty Rosbottom’s Sunday Roasts. The flavor of the apples, cider, leeks and fresh herbs is subtle, complimenting the rich turkey with a freshness that is heavenly.

The herbed butter smeared on the outside of the turkey and basting every 30 minutes with cider and herbed butter creates beautiful brown skin and moist meat. And the cider flavor is light so it doesn’t overpower the turkey. So good!

The recipe calls for making a sauce with the drippings, but since it was just Glenn and me eating the turkey at the time of testing we didn’t make all of the sides, so didn’t make the sauce.

***Just as a side note, we do not know the author and we don’t get anything from blogging about the book. The book makes our mouth water when we page through it and we can’t resist making some of the recipes!


  Printer friendly recipe without photos 


Apple Cider Roasted Turkey


 apple cider roasted turkey ingredients

 Apple Cider Roasted Turkey ingredients.


Serves 8




13 to 14 lb. turkey


Kosher salt


Freshly ground black pepper


cups leeks, cleaned and chopped, white and light green parts only


small Granny Smith apples


fresh sage sprigs


fresh thyme sprigs


tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature


tablespoon dried sage leaves


tablespoon dried thyme leaves

2 ½

cups apple cider (not apple cider vinegar)

1 ¼

cups dry white wine






1.    Place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 325o F.


2.    Make sure to remove any parts that may be stored in the cavity of the turkey. Rinse off the turkey well and pat dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper the interior of the bird. Peel and core the apples and cut them into ½” dice.



apple cider roasted turkey coring apples



3.    Combine the leeks and apples in a medium bowl. Insert 1 cup of this combination into the cavity of the turkey and place the sage and thyme sprigs into the cavity on top of the apple/leek mix. It’s fine if the sage and thyme sprigs stick out of the turkey cavity some. If the turkey wings and legs are not already secured by the butcher, use twine or string to truss the turkey by tying the legs together, slightly overlapped. Bend the wings up like the turkey is putting its hands (wings) behind its head.



apple cider roasted turkey cutting leeks


apple cider roasted turkey stuffing with herbs and trussing



4.    Mix the dried sage and thyme into the butter in a medium bowl. Use 4 tablespoons of the butter mixture and rub it over the entire outside of the turkey. Place the turkey on a rack set into a pan with at least 1” sides to help contain the drippings. Put the remaining leek and apple mixture around the base of the turkey. Combine the wine and apple cider in a bowl. Pour 1/3 cup of the cider/wine mixture over the turkey. Place the turkey in the oven on the middle rack. Roast the turkey, basting every 30 minutes with 1/3 cup of the cider mixture and 1 tablespoon of the herb butter, until it is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey’s thigh registers 180o F. This will take 3 hours 15 minutes or longer, depending on several factors. If the turkey starts to get too brown, loosely cover it with aluminum foil making sure to keep the foil from touching the turkey skin or it may stick. When the turkey is done, remove the turkey from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing into it. Tent aluminum foil over the top to keep the heat in. Use the time to prepare gravy or finish side dishes.


apple cider roasted turkey herbs with butter apple cider roasted turkey mixed herb butter


apple cider roasted turkey with herb butter spread on it


  cider turkey on platter 1


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