Lemon-Thyme Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy



15 min


10 adult servings

* PLUS Cook time: 3.5 hours plus 30 minutes rest
Lemon-Thyme Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy

Photo: Maya Visnyei

Treat your family to a gourmet dinner with this delicious roasted turkey recipe.


  • 1 14 lb. fresh or defrosted turkey , at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme , plus a few sprigs
  • 1 tsp chopped marjoram , plus a few sprigs
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 lemon , pierced all over with a skewer
  • 1 onion , quartered

Cider gravy

  • 1 cup unsweetened apple cider
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sodium-free chicken broth , divided
  • 1 cup turkey juices , mostly defatted
  • 1-2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce , optional


  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Pat turkey dry. Tuck wings under turkey and tie legs together with kitchen twine.
  • Combine butter, lemon zest, 1 tsp each thyme and marjoram and spread all over turkey and under the skin on the breast.
  • Season turkey all over with salt and pepper. Tuck lemon, onion, and extra sprigs of thyme and marjoram inside the cavity. Place turkey on a rack inside a roasting pan, cover with a sheet of parchment paper and then cover pan tightly with aluminum foil. Roast for 2 hrs, 45 min.
  • Remove foil and parchment paper, turn oven to 425F and roast for 45 min or until skin is golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 170F.
  • Remove turkey to a carving board. Cover loosely with foil and let rest 30 min. Drain pan juices into a gravy separator or measuring cup and spoon off most of fat.
  • Straddle roasting pan over two burners set to medium-high. Add cider and bring to a boil, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 4 min, or until reduced by half.
  • Whisk flour with 1⁄4 cup chicken stock and set aside. Add remaining chicken stock and turkey juices to pan and bring to a boil.
  • Whisk in reserved flour mixture and boil for 2 min, or until thickened. Add soy sauce to taste and let simmer 4 min. Carve turkey and serve with cider gravy.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 630,
  • Protein
  • 86 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 5 g,
  • Fat
  • 27 g,
  • Fibre
  • 0 g,
  • Sodium
  • 565 mg.


For the juiciest meat, let the turkey rest for a full 30 mins. Don’t worry, it will still be hot!

Originally published in the Today’s Parent October 2014 issue. Photo by Maya Visnyei.