Cider-Brined Maple-Glazed Turkey

Serves 10


  • 1 (14-16 lb) frozen young turkey

Cider Brine

  • ¾ - 1 cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar, honey or maple syrup
  • 1 gallon liquid (apple cider, vegetable stock, light beer like MGD, or white wine)
  • handful of peppercorns, allspice berries or cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 vanilla beans split lengthwise
  • pinch of cardamom
  • good handful or fresh parsley, sage & thyme, bruised or roughly chopped to release flavor
  • 1 gallon cold water

Compound Butter (mix together in small bowl)

  • ½ stick butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh herbs
  • salt & pepper

Maple Glaze (mix in small bowl)

  • ¼ cup Cognac or brandy
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract


  • 5 red apples (Fuji or Braeburn, quartered)
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 lemon, halved & juice squeezed into cavity
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • few sprigs of thyme & sage
  • 1 cup cider (to add to roasting pan)


Prepare Cider Brine (watch accompanying video)

  1. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve.
  2. Cool to room temperature and chill covered. Brine can be made 2 days ahead

Brine the Turkey

  1. Remove everything from the cavity of the bird. Place bird breast side down (since white meat dries more than dark meat) and head first into the brining bag. Add 1 gallon of iced-water to the bag.  Then add brining liquid. Tie bag tightly. Place in large bowl or bucket
  2. Refrigerate or chill 6-8 hours. Turn once halfway through

Roast the Turkey

  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. Remove turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly, inside and out, with cool water; pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine solution
  3. Season turkey cavity with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Stuff turkey with aromatics, quartered onion and one apple quartered. Rub entire turkey, over and under the skin of the breasts, with the compound butter mixtures
  4. Place on a roasting rack set inside a large roasting pan. Tie legs with twine and tuck the wings back. Brush the entire turkey with basting glaze. Place remaining apple quarters in roasting pan and pour in one cup of cider
  5. Cover breast portion with foil and place turkey on lowest rack in oven (legs in first) and roast one hour. Turn heat down to 350° and baste with glaze. Continue to roast until a thermometer reads 161° when inserted between the breast and thigh without touching the bone. Gauge about 15-20 minutes per pound.
  6. Remove foil from breast about 15 minutes before the turkey is done. Remove turkey from pan, place on a platter and tent with foil. Let the turkey rest 20 minutes before carving (the temperate will continue to rise)
  7. Baste with glaze until liquid is gone