TURKEY WITH MAPLE HERB BUTTER
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 3 Hours and 30 Minutes
In: 4 Hours and 30 Minutes
Makes 8 to 10 servings
2 cups apple cider
1/3 cup real maple syrup
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram (2 teaspoons of dried marjoram
may be substituted.)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
3/4 cup butter, softened
salt and pepper to taste
12 pounds whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
3 cups chicken broth
1. Boil apple cider and
maple syrup in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until
reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in
half of chopped thyme, half of marjoram and 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon
zest. Add butter and whisk until melted. Season generously with
salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
(Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated).
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
3. Position rack in lower third of oven. Pat turkey dry with
paper towels. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan.
Slide hand under skin of turkey breast to loosen skin. Rub 1/2
cup maple butter over breast under skin. If stuffing turkey,
spoon stuffing into main cavity. Rub 1/4 cup maple butter over
outside of turkey. Reserve remaining maple butter for gravy.
Tie legs together loosely to hold shape of turkey. Arrange onion,
celery, carrots and reserved turkey neck and giblets around turkey
in pan. Sprinkle vegetables with remaining 1 tablespoon thyme
and remaining 1 tablespoon marjoram. Pour 2 cups broth into pan.
4. Roast turkey 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees
F (175 degrees C). Cover entire turkey loosely with heavy-duty
foil and roast until meat thermometer inserted into thickest
part of thigh registers 180 degrees F (85 degrees C) or until
juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with
skewer, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 2 hours 25
minutes for unstuffed turkey (2 hours 55 minutes for stuffed
turkey). Transfer turkey to platter. Tent turkey with aluminum
foil and let stand 30 minutes; reserve mixture in pan for gravy.
5. For the gravy: strain pan juices into large measuring cup,
pressing on solids with back of spoon. Spoon fat from pan juices.
Add enough chicken broth to pan juices to measure 3 cup. Transfer
liquid to heavy medium saucepan and bring to boil. Mix 3 tablespoon
reserved maple butter and 1/3 cup flour in small bowl to form
smooth paste. Whisk paste into broth mixture. Add chopped fresh
thyme and bay leaf. Boil until reduced to sauce consistency,
whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in apple brandy,
if desired. Season gravy to taste with salt and pepper. Brush
turkey with any remaining maple butter and serve with gravy.