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Cider Marinated Turkey Recipe

Cider Marinated Turkey Recipe

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.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + marinating Grill: 2 hours YIELD:12 servings


  • 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


  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. 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.

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 Pairings

Medium-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied white wine such as Riesling or Gewürtztraminer