Apple Cider-Brined Turkey with Savory Herb Gravy, a delicious, incredibly moist turkey, roasted with a nice sealed and browned skin. 

Apple Cider-Brined Turkey with Savory Herb Gravy

Friends, I’ve made this Apple Cider-Brined Turkey many times, since I enjoyed it years ago at my friend Jenny’s. And the gravy? So good!

Note: This recipe is made with apple cider (not vinegar). The original video had an error, saying “apple cider vinegar” but hopefully y’all grabbed the actual recipe and read the post that was 100% correct on this blog! Thanks!

Apple Cider-Brined Turkey with Savory Herb Gravy

This year I’m making the recipe again with a 24 pound organic bird. I can’t wait for all the leftovers. I’m already dreaming of leftovers! LOL [see my favorite dinner roll at the bottom of this post].

a slice of Apple Cider-Brined Turkey

What to eat with leftover turkey

Here’s what you can make with leftover turkey: Epic Friendsgiving Turkey Sandwich Board or Turkey Potpie with Butternut & Pearl Onions.

Jenny gave me her printed out recipe years ago, and it has gravy drippings, water marks, and food spills all over it. Those are the best kind of recipes, aren’t they?

It’s tried and true; I’ve probably eaten ten turkeys cooked like this, and I’ll never do it any other way. Brining is it for the best bird.

slice of Apple Cider-Brined Turkey

I am a firm believer in flipping the bird – cooking the bottom at 450 is plenty hot enough. I usually have to tent with foil the last half hour or so. You get the most moist breast meat when you use this method.

Also, you have to make the gravy! It’s the best! [Our feast last year!]

a Thanksgiving dinner buffet

I’m adding the steps for you today, in case you are getting your bird ready (or thinking about it!)

The first time I made this recipe, I used an 18-20 pound bird. It worked perfectly.

The brine is delish:

  • Apple cider
  • Kosher salt
  • Sugar
  • Black peppercorns
  • Whole allspice
  • Ginger
  • Whole cloves
  • Bay leaves
  • Fresh or frozen turkey
  • Oranges

slicing a piece of Apple Cider-Brined Turkey

The last two years, a 24 pound organic bird! DELISH!

ALWAYS completely done and VERY moist. Follow the directions on your bird for the cooking time!

brining a bird

TIP: I use two turkey bags, one LARGE cooler, and several bags of ice for the preparation. 

Tips for brining a turkey

Brining is an overnight process, so if you’re using a frozen turkey, be sure to thaw it well in advance. Choose turkey-sized plastic oven bags for brining the turkey. Use two bags to prevent brine from leaking, and place the turkey in a large stockpot as another precaution.

stuffing a turkey with citrus and herbs

How to brine a turkey

  1. To prepare brine, combine first 8 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes, or until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool completely.
  2. Take out the giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for Savory Herb Gravy. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Stuff body cavity with orange quarters. Place a turkey-sized oven bag inside a second bag to form a double thickness. Place bags in a large stockpot. In the inner bag, place the turkey. Add cider mixture and ice. Secure bags with several twist ties. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Remove turkey from bags, and discard brine, orange quarters, and bags. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Place garlic, sage, thyme, parsley, onion, and broth in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place roasting rack in pan. Arrange turkey, breast side down, on roasting rack. Brush turkey back with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.
  4. Reduce oven to 350 degrees! Remove turkey from oven. Carefully turn turkey over (breast side up) using tongs. Brush turkey breast with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 350º for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 170º (make sure not to touch bone). (Shield the turkey with foil if it browns too quickly.) Remove turkey from oven; let stand 20 minutes. 

turkey on a roll with cranberry sauce

Best part of a turkey dinner? The leftovers! I love turkey on rolls with cranberry sauce!

a whole Apple Cider-Brined Turkey

Savory Herb Gravy

Reserve pan drippings for Savory Herb Gravy. 

The gravy prep can be done a day in advance; just cover and refrigerate, but then finish the gravy while the turkey rests, before being carved.

Follow the recipe below!

a whole bird (Apple Cider-Brined Turkey) in baking pan

ENJOY!

Gobble Gobble!

Enjoy this turkey with these side dishes:

Delicious Carrot Souffle Side Dish Recipe

Pancetta Ciabatta Corn Pudding

BEST Fresh Cranberry Grape Walnut Salad

Pancetta Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Waldorf Brussels Sprout Salad

Cinnamon Apple Pie Cake

Apple Cider-Brined Turkey with Savory Herb Gravy
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Apple Cider-Brined Turkey with Savory Herb Gravy

12 servings (serving size: 6 ounces turkey and 3 tablespoons gravy). This turkey is a pleasure to offer on your table. It's incredibly moist and flavorful! This recipe goes with Savory Herb Gravy.
In past, I've cooked a 21 pound bird (about 5 hours was perfect) and a 23 pound bird (about 5.5. hours was perfect).

Ingredients

Brine:

  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 2/3 cup kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice, coarsely crushed
  • 8 1/8-inch-thick slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 12-pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 6 cups ice
  • Remaining ingredients: 4 garlic cloves, 4 sage leaves, 4 thyme sprigs, 4 parsley sprigs; 1 onion, quartered; 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth; 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided; 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided; 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided.

Savory Herb Gravy:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Reserved turkey neck and giblets
  • 12 cups water
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 parsley sprigs
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered
  • 1 carrot, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 bay leaf reserved turkey drippings
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kitchen Bouquet for extra flavors

Instructions

Step 1

  • To prepare brine, combine first 8 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool completely.

Step 2

  • Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for Savory Herb Gravy. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Stuff body cavity with orange quarters. Place a turkey-sized oven bag inside a second bag to form a double thickness. Place bags in a large stockpot. Place turkey inside inner bag. Add cider mixture and ice. Secure bags with several twist ties. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Step 3

  • Remove turkey from bags, and discard brine, orange quarters, and bags. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Place garlic, sage, thyme, parsley, onion, and broth in the bottom of roasting pan. Place roasting rack in pan. Arrange turkey, breast side down, on roasting rack. Brush turkey back with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

Step 4

  • Reduce oven temperature to 350º.

Step 5

  • Remove turkey from oven. Carefully turn turkey over (breast side up) using tongs. Brush turkey breast with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 350º for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 170º (make sure not to touch bone). (Shield the turkey with foil if it browns too quickly.) Remove turkey from oven; let stand 20 minutes. Reserve pan drippings for Savory Herb Gravy. Discard skin before serving; serve with gravy.

Making Gravy - Step 1

  • Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add turkey neck and giblets; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Add water and next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 2 1/2 cups (about 1 hour). Strain through a colander over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid and turkey neck. Discard remaining solids. Chill cooking liquid completely. Skim fat from surface, and discard. Remove meat from neck; finely chop meat. Discard neck bone. Add neck meat to cooking liquid.

Step 2

  • Strain the reserved turkey drippings through a colander over a shallow bowl; discard solids. Place strained drippings in freezer for 20 minutes. Skim fat from surface; discard.

Step 3

  • Place flour in a medium saucepan; add 1/4 cup cooking liquid, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add remaining cooking liquid, turkey drippings, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add Kitchen Bouquet for added flavor if needed.

Video

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whole cooked turkey in baking panv

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