Cider-Glazed Turkey with Pan Gravy

Diana Yen is the cookbook author and food stylist behind The Jewels of New York. Below, she shows you how to use what’s in your pantry to jazz up some of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes that not only taste delicious, but they’re easy on your wallet, too. Tune in this week for more budget-friendly dishes!


Cider-Glazed Turkey with Pan Gravy that’s dry brined in an herb salt for tender and flavorful bird. (Photo: Diana Yen)

Cider-Glazed Turkey with Pan Gravy
Serves 6

The secret to this flavorful and tender turkey is to dry brine it the day before its cooked. An herbed salt is rubbed all over the turkey, sealing in the moisture and penetrating the meat with flavor. The turkey is glazed with a buttery cider-rosemary syrup while roasting for a perfectly brown caramelized skin.

Prep: 35 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours

1 (10-12 pound) thawed turkey, patted dry

For the turkey:
5 sprigs rosemary
5 sprigs sage
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic
½ cup of kosher salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 apple, cut into chunks
½ onion, quartered
Canola oil

For cider glaze:
2 cups apple cider
½ cup sugar
6 sprigs rosemary
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Salt and pepper

For gravy:
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup pan drippings
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper

*Ingredients totaled to $24.22. Prices based on location in Milwaukee. WI.

Make the turkey and cider glaze:
In a food processor, pulse together the rosemary, sage, pepper, and garlic, until a paste forms. Add the salt and baking powder and pulse together. Generously sprinkle mixture evenly over all surfaces of turkey. The turkey should be well-coated but not completely encrusted.

Transfer the turkey to a rack set in a baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered for 12 to 24 hours. Dry-brining for more than 24 hours will produce even more juicy and well-seasoned meat. To brine longer than 24 hours, loosely cover turkey with plastic wrap before refrigerating to prevent excess moisture loss through evaporation.

Remove the bird from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Note: The dry brine will remain on the turkey for roasting.

Preheat the oven to 500 ° F.

Place apple and onion in the cavity of the bird. Fold neck skin under body, then tuck wing tips under breast and tie drumsticks together with string. Coat skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey, which should be on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, on lowest level of the oven at 500 °F for 30 minutes. While the turkey is roasting, prepare the glaze. Boil the cider, sugar, and rosemary in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the glaze has reduced to about ½ cup. Discard rosemary, remove from heat, and whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until fully mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

When the initial 30 minutes of roasting are complete, reduce the temperature to 350 °F and remove the turkey from the oven. Brush the turkey all over with cider glaze. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into fleshy part of thigh registers 165-170 °F. A 10-12 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 ½ hours of roasting.

When the turkey is done, remove from the oven and carefully tilt the bird so that the pan juices inside the cavity run into the pan. Reserve ¼ cup of the pan drippings. Transfer the bird to a serving platter, discard string and let rest, loosely tented with foil, for 15 minutes, before carving.

Make gravy while turkey rests:
Place pan drippings and flour in a saucepan over medium high heat. Stir with a wire whisk for 3-4 minutes.

Slowly add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute and season the gravy with salt and pepper. Serve turkey with gravy.

Cook’s Note: 2 to 3 days before roasting: Begin to thaw frozen turkey in the refrigerator.


Turkey is glazed with a buttery cider-rosemary syrup while roasting for a perfectly brown caramelized skin. (Photo: Diana Yen)

More budget-friendly recipes to steal the show this Thanksgiving:

Green Beans with Crispy Shallots and Herbed Cornbread Croutons

Cornbread Pear Stuffing

Sweet Potato Gratin with Pecans