Maple-Syrup-Glazed Roast Turkey with Riesling Gravy


The ginger-butter-maple syrup glaze is used in the last half hour of cooking for best flavor.


  • 1 14-pound fresh turkey, neck and giblets removed and reserved for stock

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Cornbread Sourdough Stuffing

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup

  • 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup Riesling wine

  • 2 cups Homemade Turkey Stock, or low-sodium canned chicken broth, skimmed of fat

  • cup seedless red and green grapes, each cut in half


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees with rack in lowest third of oven. Wash turkey inside and out with cold running water, and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck wing tips under body. Generously season neck, body cavities, and underside with salt and pepper.

  2. Loosely fill the neck cavity with the stuffing. Using wooden skewers or toothpicks, secure the flap. Holding the turkey upright, loosely fill the body cavity with stuffing. Pull the legs together, and tie them with kitchen twine. Heap on additional stuffing so that it is bulging out of the cavity. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper over the bird, and set it on a rack in a roasting pan.

  3. Cut a double layer of cheesecloth to fit over the entire turkey. Melt 4 tablespoons butter. Place cheesecloth in the butter, completely soaking cloth. Drape cheesecloth over the bird.

  4. Place turkey in the oven, and roast 30 minutes. Baste with butter that has accumulated in the pan. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and loosely cover bird with a large piece of aluminum foil; roast 30 minutes more. Baste again. Continue roasting, basting once an hour, until a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees in the leg and 170 degrees in the breast, about 3 hours.

  5. During the last half hour of roasting, place grated ginger in a small, double layer of cheesecloth; squeeze juice into a small saucepan. Add maple syrup and 1 tablespoon butter. Heat the mixture until the butter has melted and is bubbling. Remove the maple-syrup glaze from heat.

  6. Remove foil tent and cheesecloth from bird, and discard. Brush glaze over bird several times during last half hour. Remove turkey from the oven, and transfer to a carving board. Let rest 30 minutes before carving.

  7. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with flour, and mix together until smooth; set aside. Pour pan drippings into a fat separator or glass measuring cup, and let stand 10 minutes. If using a fat separator, carefully return juices to pan; discard fat. If using a measuring cup, use a spoon to skim fat from top, and return juices to pan.

  8. Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over medium-high heat. Pour wine into the pan, and, using a wooden spoon, stir up any brown bits on bottom. Cook liquid until reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Add turkey stock, and cook until reduced again by half, about 7 minutes.

  9. Pass the gravy through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, and pour into a small saucepan. Whisk in the reserved butter-flour mixture until the butter has melted. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let gravy simmer until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Add red and green grapes to the gravy; serve gravy with turkey.

Cook's Notes

After the first 30 minutes of roasting, if no butter has accumulated in the roasting pan, melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter and add 3 tablespoons turkey stock; baste with this mixture.

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