Maple Roasted Eastern Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy


1-1/2 qt apple cider

1-1/2 qt maple syrup

1 tbsp dried thyme

2 tbsp dried marjoram

1-1/2 lbs unsalted butter, softened

3 tsp salt

1-1/2 tsp black pepper

180 lbs (ten 18-lb turkeys) WHOLE TURKEY, thawed if frozen with neck and giblets removed

6 lbs chopped onions

3 lbs chopped celery

3 lbs chopped carrots


12 c apple cider

As needed all purpose flour

2 tbsp dried thyme

3 Large bay leaves


Maple Butter Rub

Boil apple cider and maple syrup in a large heavy sauce pan until reduced to 1/3 original volume.

Remove from heat and add thyme and marjoram. Add the butter and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate several hours until well chilled and cold.

Roasting Turkey

Place turkeys on racks in roasting pans. Slide fingers under skin of breasts to loosen breast skin. Rub 1/2 cup maple butter under the skin of each turkey breast. Cover and reserve remaining maple butter.

Arrange chopped onion, celery and carrots around each turkey in the roasting pans.

Pour one cup turkey broth and one cup cider for each turkey into roasting pans.

Roast turkeys in preheated 375 degree F oven for 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Cover turkey breasts with foil, shiny side toward turkey.

Roast approximately 3-1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of each bird reaches 165 degrees F, basting occasionally with pan juices.

Apple Cider Gravy

Strain pan juices. Skim fat.

Transfer liquid to heavy stock pot and bring to a boil.

Mix one part of remaining maple butter with one part flour to make a paste. Whisk enough of the flour mixture into the broth to thicken it as it simmers.

Add thyme and bay leaves.

Adjust consistency with additional broth, water or flour/butter mixture as needed for rich flavor and smooth consistency. Remove bay leaves prior to service.