Best Cider-Brined Turkey With Gravy Best Cider-Brined Turkey With Gravy

Image: Jeff Coulson

In The Test Kitchen, we love a brined turkey. In this recipe (which originally appeared in our October 2011 issue), a sweet brine replaces a more traditional salt brine. The result is an ultra-tender and moist turkey with just a subtle hint of sweet apple cider.

  • Portion size 14 servings
  • Credits : Canadian Living Magazine




Discard giblets from turkey; reserve neck for gravy.

In stockpot, stir boiling water with brown sugar to dissolve; stir in cider to cool. Add turkey, breast side down.

With rolling pin or heavy saucepan, pound thyme, rosemary and garlic until crushed. Add to pot along with bay leaves, onion and enough cold water to cover. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove turkey from brine; pat dry.

Tie legs together with kitchen string; tuck wings under back. Brush butter all over turkey; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut neck in half; place in roasting pan. Set turkey, breast side up, on rack in pan.

Roast in 325°F (160°C) oven, basting occasionally and tenting with foil if browning too quickly, until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reads 170°F (77°C) and juices run clear when turkey is pierced, 3 1⁄2 to 4 hours. Transfer to serving platter and tent with foil; let stand for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.

Gravy: Discard neck from pan. Drain off all but 2 tbsp fat. Cook for 1 minute over medium heat, scraping up browned bits. Sprinkle with flour; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in broth, 1⁄2 cup water and vinegar; bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Strain into warmed gravy boat. Serve with turkey.

Nutritional facts Per serving: about

  • Sodium 428 mg
  • Protein 43 g
  • Calories 323.0
  • Total fat 12 g
  • Potassium 621 mg
  • Cholesterol 121 mg
  • Saturated fat 5 g
  • Total carbohydrate 8 g


  • Iron 21.0
  • Folate 8.0
  • Calcium 4.0
  • Vitamin A 3.0
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Best Cider-Brined Turkey With Gravy