About this recipe: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.
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
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Method Prep:1hr › Cook:3hr30min › Extra time:2hr › Ready in:6hr30min
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.
Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5. Place rack in lower third of oven.
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.
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.
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.