Cider roast turkey

Cider roast turkey

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 4 hrs Approx 4 hrs cooking for a 4.5kg bird

More effort

Serves 8
Succulent, cider-roasted turkey, with tender glazed apples and pear makes the ultimate centrepiece for your Christmas table

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (with gravy)

  • kcal704
  • fat32g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs21g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre1g
  • protein82g
  • salt1.77g
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    For the turkey

    • 4½ -6kg/10-13lb turkey, giblets removed and kept



      While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

    • 450g stuffing
    • 2 leeks, trimmed and halved



      Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

    • 2 carrots, halved



      The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

    • 50g butter, softened



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 300ml dry cider



      Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Apple orchards were…

    For the gravy

    • 300ml dry cider



      Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Apple orchards were…

    • 600ml chicken stock
    • 2 tbsp quince or redcurrant jelly


    1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Wash and dry the turkey, removing any feathers. Pull out the giblets and the neck, then set aside. Lift up the skin that covers the neck opening, then stuff the stuffing up and under the skin, securing it tightly underneath with a skewer or two cocktail sticks. Weigh the stuffed turkey, then calculate the cooking time, allowing 40 mins per kg (20 mins per lb).

    2. Put the leeks and carrots along the bottom of a roasting tin in a single layer – this will make a trivet for the turkey to sit on and add flavour to the gravy. Add the neck to the tin. Sit the turkey on top and coat the breast all over with butter. Pour in the cider, cover with foil, then roast according to your timings. Keep checking the tin – if the vegetables look like they’re burning, add a splash of water or cider. At 30 mins before the end of cooking, remove the foil and season generously.

    3. To test that the turkey is ready, pierce the thigh through its thickest part; the juices should run clear. Take the turkey out and leave to rest, covered with a clean tea towel. Can leave to rest for up to 1 hr. Now make the gravy. Drain the fat and juices from the tin into a jug, discarding the veg and the neck. Place the tin over a flame, then pour in the cider, scraping up the flavour-filled crusty bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce the cider by half, then strain into a saucepan (this will save you hob space later).

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    26th Dec, 2016
    Used this recipe for Christmas dinner(minus the apples and pears) and I will definitely be using it from now on. Easy to do, simple ingredients, cooking times spot on and produced lovely moist turkey and lots of very tasty gravy.
    31st Jul, 2016
    Made this exactly as recipe and it was very nice. When I got to making the gravy I was a bit confused , so just added the strained juices - minus fat - to pan, with stock and red currant jelly. Then I reduced it down. I have since found a recipe in someone else's comments for this recipe
    28th Sep, 2014
    Where is the apple and succulent pear?
    16th Jan, 2014
    This recipe is amazing, made juicy turkey and rich gravy. I will not cook my Turkey any other way now.
    6th Jan, 2014
    First time to roast a 7kg bird and it was brilliant! No Stuffing. The turkey was done in less than estimated time and the leftovers were even better. A recipe to keep!
    28th Dec, 2013
    Cooked the turkey this way for Christmas dinner 2013, and it was a great success. I used still cider (i.e. not sparkling), and cooked the stuffing separately, as it was such a big bird. As suggested, I used the cider/stock mixture to make the gravy. I added cornflour to thicken it, rather than reducing it, as we wanted to have plenty of gravy for seconds. I will be using this recipe again.
    9th Jan, 2013
    Loved this - I was determined not to have dry turkey this year, so I tried this and it was delicious - very moist and tasty. The stock made a lovely gravy. The recipe worked with a turkey crown. I'm only ever going to cook my turkey this way from now on.
    28th Apr, 2012
    This is simply a GREAT recipe! Have made it with both turkey at Christmas and chicken for an extra nice roast. Every time, meat comes out succulent and tender. Tastes simply delicious. DO use the bones, leeks and carrots with some leftover liquid for a BEAUTIFUL stock. Amazing.
    27th Dec, 2010
    Went down a storm on Christmas Day! Easy to prepare and filled the house with a lovely aroma while cooking. First ever time cooking a big turkey and timings for cooking was perfect. Will do it again next year for sure!
    16th Dec, 2010
    My all time favorite - repeated it every year since the recipe first appeared


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