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Maple-Butter Turkey with Gravy

Thyme, sage and marjoram blend beautifully with apple cider and maple syrup in this recipe from our Test Kitchen. The maple butter can be prepared 1 to 2 days in advance.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. + chilling Bake: 3 hours + standing
  • Makes
    14-16 servings (3-1/3 cups gravy)


  • 2 cups apple cider or juice
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  • For maple butter, in a small heavy saucepan, bring cider and syrup to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the butter, thyme, sage, marjoram, salt and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate until set.
  • With fingers, carefully loosen the skin from both sides of turkey breast. Rub 1/2 cup maple butter under turkey skin. Refrigerate remaining maple butter. Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake at 325° for 2 hours.
  • Brush top with 1/3 cup maple butter. Bake, uncovered, 1 to 1-1/2 hours longer or until a thermometer reads 180°, basting occasionally with pan drippings. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.) Remove turkey to a serving platter and keep warm. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.
  • Pour drippings and loosened brown bits into a 4-cup measuring cup. Skim and discard fat. Add enough broth to drippings to measure 3 cups. In a large saucepan, combine flour and broth mixture until smooth. Stir in remaining maple butter. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with turkey.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 579 calories, 30g fat (12g saturated fat), 237mg cholesterol, 506mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 64g protein.

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  • Lillybug218
    Dec 21, 2013

    Made this twice, both times it was incredible. I used the mushroom walnut stuffing with it and get asked for my recipes on both.

  • rainbodell
    Nov 25, 2009

    Since I first discovered this recipe (about 4 years ago), I have always made my Thanksgiving turkeys this way. The gravy is sweeter than traditional gravy, but delicious!I also stuff the bird with a combination cornbread & bread scraps, diced apple, cranberries and raisins. It has become a family tradition for us!

  • mdonovan
    Nov 20, 2009

    No comment left