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Spice-Brined Turkey with Cider-Pan Gravy


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Rate this recipe 4.6/5 (5 Votes)


  • 5 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh ginger
  • 2 TBS coarsely crushed cloves
  • 2 TBS coarsely crushed cardamom pods
  • 2 TBS coarsely crushed allspice
  • 2 TBS coarsely crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 (12 lb) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
  • 1 (14 oz) can chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper



Step 1

1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large stockpot over medium heat. Cook until salt is dissolved. Remove pan from heat; cool completely.

2. Remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey, or reserve for another use. Trim excess fat. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Add turkey to pan, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning the turkey occasionally.

3. Preheat oven to 450F.

4. Remove turkey from brine; discard brine. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Place turkey, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Pour 1 cup broth into pan. Bake at 450F for 30 minutes.

5. Reduce oven temperature to 350F (do not remove turkey from oven. Bake turkey at 350F for 1 1/2 hours or until thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165F. Remove turkey from oven; let stand 30 minutes. Remove and discard skin.

6. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings into bag; let stand ten minutes (fat will rise to top). Seal bag; carefully snip off one bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a measuring cup, stopping before the fat layer reaches the opening (reserve 1 TBS fat).

7. Combine drippings, remaining broth, and cider in a small bowl. Place broiler pan on stovetop over medium heat, scraping to loosen browned bits. Add flour and reserved fat to pan; cook one minute, stirring frequently. Slowly add broth mixture, stirring with a whisk. Cook 4 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in black pepper.


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