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Cider Marinated Turkey

 Cider Marinated Turkey
Make Thanksgiving dinner memorable by serving this golden-brown turkey from our Test Kitchen. Marinated in apple cider, kosher salt and spices, the turkey can be grilled or roasted.
12 ServingsPrep: 20 min. + marinating Grill: 2 hours


  • 8 cups apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice, crushed
  • 2 medium navel oranges, quartered
  • 3 quarts cold water
  • 1 turkey (12 pounds)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 medium carrots, halved and quartered
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage or 1 tablespoon rubbed sage
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


  • In a large stockpot, combine the cider and seasonings. Bring to a
  • boil. Cook and stir until salt is dissolved. Stir in oranges. Remove
  • from the heat. Add water; cool to room temperature.
  • Remove giblets from turkey; discard. Place a turkey-size oven
  • roasting bag inside a second roasting bag; add turkey. Place in a
  • roasting pan. Carefully pour cooled marinade into bag. Squeeze out
  • as much air as possible; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for
  • 12-14 hours; turn several times.

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Cider Marinated Turkey (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Drain and discard marinade. Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry.
  • Place onion, carrots and sage in cavity. Rub oil over skin. Skewer
  • turkey openings; tie drumsticks together.
  • Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and
  • lightly coat the grill rack. Prepare grill for indirect heat, using
  • a drip pan. Place turkey over drip pan; grill, covered, over
  • indirect medium heat for 2 to 3 hours or until a meat thermometer
  • reads 180°, tenting turkey with foil after about 1 hour. Cover
  • and let stand 20 minutes before carving.
  • If desired, thicken pan juices for gravy. Remove and discard skin and
  • vegetables in cavity before carving turkey. Serve with gravy.
  • Yield: 12 servings plus leftovers.
Editor's Note: It is best not to use a prebasted turkey for this recipe.
Nutritional Facts: One serving (4 ounces light and dark cooked turkey, skin removed, calculated without gravy) equals 198 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 244 mg sodium, trace carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 33 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat.
Wine: Medium-Bodied White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied white wine such as Riesling or Gewürtztraminer