About this recipe:This roast turkey sees the addition of maple syrup which gives a lovely sweet taste to the turkey meat. Serve alongside all of the traditional Christmas side dishes for a feast to remember!
480ml cloudy apple juice
80ml maple syrup
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
170g butter, softened
salt and pepper to taste
1 (5.5kg) whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved
320g chopped onion
180g chopped celery
190g chopped carrots
700ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 bay leaf
120ml apple brandy
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:3hr › Ready in:3hr30min
Combine apple juice and maple syrup in a saucepan, and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until reduced to 120ml, then remove pan from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon marjoram, and lemon zest. Stir in butter until melted, and season with salt and pepper. Cover, and place in the fridge until cold.
Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Place rack in lower third of oven.
Place turkey on a rack set in a roasting pan. Reserve 60ml maple butter for gravy, and rub the remaining maple butter under the skin of the breast and over the outside of turkey. Arrange onion, celery, carrots turkey neck and giblets around the turkey. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon thyme and 1 tablespoon marjoram over vegetables. Pour 470ml stock into pan.
Roast turkey for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce oven temperature to 180 C / Gas 4. Cover entire turkey loosely with foil. Continue roasting for about 2 1/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 85 degrees C). Transfer turkey to platter, and let stand 30 minutes.
Strain the pan juices into a large jug, and then remove any excess fat. Add enough chicken stock to pan juices to measure 710ml. Transfer liquid to a saucepan, and bring to the boil. In a small bowl, mix 65g maple butter and 40g flour until smooth. Whisk flour and butter mixture into broth mixture. Stir in remaining thyme and the bay leaf. Boil until reduced to sauce consistency, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in apple brandy, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.