Union Square Café
21 E 16th St,
New York, NY 10003
(212) 243-4020


Roast Turkey with Apple-Cider Gravy
Chef Michael Romano of Union Square Café – New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 8-10 Servings


  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 head garlic, split
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 Tablespoon juniper berries
  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 (10-12-pound) turkey
  • 1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 apple, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small quince, cored and coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley with stems
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 11/2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For Brine:

In a pot large enough to hold the turkey, combine all of the brine ingredients and stir. Add the turkey to the pot, cover and refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours. Remove the turkey from the pot, discard the brine and rinse the turkey thoroughly under cold water. Pat dry.

For Turkey:
Preheat the oven to 275° F.

Combine the onion, celery, apple, parsnip, quince, herbs, and spices in a bowl and toss. Spoon into the cavity of the turkey.

Truss the turkey, tying its legs together tightly with kitchen twine. Place the turkey on a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, place in the oven and cook 2½ hours.

Uncover the turkey and reserve the foil. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F. Brush the turkey with half of the melted butter and cook for 30 minutes. Brush on the remaining butter and continue cooking about 1 hour and 15 minutes longer, basting every 30 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 160° F. (The internal temperature will rise 10° F while the turkey rests).

Transfer the turkey to a cutting board. Pour off the fat from the roasting pan. Spoon the vegetables from the cavity of the turkey into the pan; cover the turkey loosely with the reserved foil and let rest for 30 minutes. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

For Gravy:
Add the butter to the roasting pan with the vegetables. Place the pan over medium heat, using 2 burners if necessary. Use a wooden spoon to stir and brown the vegetables lightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cider, bring to a boil and cook until reduced and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to release the turkey drippings.

Transfer the gravy to a 3-quart saucepan, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the gravy has thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour any juices that have accumulated around the turkey into the pan and continue cooking for 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper. Strain the gravy into a warm sauceboat.

Wine Pairing:
A rich but un-oaked white such as an Alsatian Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris

   Published: November 2005