Cider-Roasted Turkey with Bacon-Apple Cider Gravy

Cider-Roasted Turkey with Bacon-Apple Cider Gravy


  • 1 (11-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
  • 2 1/2 cups apple cider, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, quartered
  • 2 3/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 2 thick bacon slices, cut crosswise into strips
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme


Remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Place turkey in a heavy-duty, jumbo zip-top plastic bag and add 2 cups cider; seal and marinate in refrigerator overnight, turning bag occasionally.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Remove turkey from bag, reserving marinade. Place turkey, breast side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Pour reserved marinade over turkey. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt on skin and in body cavity. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Place thyme sprigs and apple in body cavity. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325° (do not remove turkey from oven); bake an additional 45 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups broth and onions to pan; return to oven immediately. Bake, uncovered, an additional hour or until thermometer registers 180°. Place turkey on a serving platter; cover with aluminum foil. Let stand at least 25 minutes. Discard skin, sprigs, and apple.

Remove onions from pan with a slotted spoon, set aside, and keep warm. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Pour turkey drippings into bag. Add remaining 1/2 cup cider to roasting pan; cook over medium-high heat 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add to turkey drippings in bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.

Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until crisp. Add flour to bacon drippings in pan; cook 1 minute. Gradually add remaining 1 cup broth and cider mixture, blending with a whisk. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook over medium heat until thick (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently. Stir in onions and chopped thyme.

    For a change of pace, substitute a 9-pound capon for the turkey.
  • Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: 6 ounces turkey and 1/4 cup gravy)

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 319
Caloriesfromfat per serving: 24%
Fat per serving: 8.3g
Saturated fat per serving: 2.8g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 2.5g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 1.8g
Protein per serving: 39.5g
Carbohydrate per serving: 18.6g
Fiber per serving: 0.6g
Cholesterol per serving: 114mg
Iron per serving: 3.2mg
Sodium per serving: 620mg
Calcium per serving: 45mg