Maple roast turkey with apple brandy gravy

    6 hours 30 min

    This is the perfect roast turkey recipe. The maple butter adds a touch of sweetness that is just divine, while the apple brandy adds a secret something to the gorgeous gravy. A family favourite! Substitute 2 teaspoons dried marjoram if fresh marjoram is not available.

    182 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 500ml apple juice
    • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram, divided
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
    • 175g butter, softened
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1 whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved
    • 325g chopped onion
    • 175g chopped celery
    • 200g chopped carrots
    • 750ml chicken or turkey stock
    • 4 tablespoons plain flour
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 125ml apple brandy

    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:3hr30min  ›  Extra time:2hr  ›  Ready in:6hr30min 

    1. Combine apple cider and maple syrup in a saucepan, and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until reduced to 125ml, 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 refrigerate until cold.
    2. Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5. Place rack in lower third of oven.
    3. Place turkey on a rack set in a roasting tin. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the maple butter mixture for gravy, and rub the remaining maple butter mixture 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 2/3 of the stock into the tin.
    4. Roast turkey for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce oven temperature to 180 C / Gas mark 4. Cover entire turkey loosely with aluminium foil. Continue roasting for about 2 1/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 74 degrees C. Transfer turkey to platter, and let stand 30 minutes.
    5. Strain the pan juices into a large measuring jug, and then skim off any excess fat. Add enough chicken stock to pan juices to measure 750ml. Transfer liquid to a saucepan, and bring to the boil. In a small bowl, mix the reserved maple butter mixture and flour until smooth. Whisk flour and butter mixture into stock 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.

    Cooking turkey tips

    For easy tips and step-by-step instructions, see our Cooking turkey article, and don't forget our turkey gravy recipes.

    Turkey tips

    For fail-safe tips and turkey cooking times see our guide to cooking turkey. Also don't forget our turkey gravy recipes.

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    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (139)


    tasted fantastic,  -  07 Jun 2010


    I took a chance and tried this for Thanksgiving, a gigantic leap for somebody like me who grew up with butter-only glaze. But I was so wonderfully rewarded with the most perfect turkey I’ve ever made. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and it really melts in your mouth. And it beautifully roasts your turkey to a Hollywood Thanksgiving Turkey golden color that almost makes you feel guilty eating it. The gravy… Oh, so tasty. It goes great on the turkey, great on mashed potatoes, great sopped up with biscuits, pretty much a wonderful compliment to all of your Thanksgiving sides. And this makes the most unbelievable stock. Team this turkey with mixed bread sage sausage stuffing (find the sage sausage by Jimmy Dean), a shot of white wine, and you’ll amaze your family with the fantastic meal you’ve put together. Here are some basic tips for Thanksgiving turkey though… It seems that not everybody on this board has been introduced to the wonder that is Oven Bags. I promise you, this recipe in an Oven Roaster Bag, and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. It browns your turkey perfectly, and is much easier than foil. Cut up 2 onions and throw them in the bag, sprinkle about a tablespoon of flour in the bag and shake until the onions are well coated… Put in the turkey and this sauce. Cut some slits in the bag, throw it in the oven, and every 30 – 40 minutes, stick a baster in one of the slits and coat the turkey. Voila!  -  21 Jan 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I agree with an earlier review... I've made this the past 4 years to rave reviews. It was the first turkey recipe I tried as a newlywed, and now my mother and grandmother request little old me to make the turkey at the holidays. What an honor, and all thanks to this amazing recipe! I, too, serve with the Sausage, Apple & Cranberry stuffing and it's a perfect match. I also serve with smashed yams with orange juice, Cranberry Sauce Extrordinaire (also from this site) and creamy mashed potatoes... it's a perfect meal! We love Roasted Butternut Squash soup with rolls and salad the night before. It's filling, but leaves plenty of room for the Big Day's Menu! Thanks Ibby!! (if you're a new cook I highly recommend trying this, it's simple to follow and always turns out)  -  14 Nov 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)