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Maple Roast Turkey

2 cups apple cider
1/3 cup real maple syrup
2-1/2 T chopped fresh thyme
2 T chopped fresh marjoram
1-1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
3/4 cup butter, softened
salt and pepper to taste
1 (12 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved
2 cups chopped onion
1-1/2 cups chopped celery
1-1/2 cups chopped carrots
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup apple brandy

Combine apple cider and maple syrup in a saucepan, and bring to a boil
over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until reduced to 1/2 cup, then
remove pan from heat.

Stir in 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon marjoram, and lemon zest.
Stir in butter until melted, and season with salt and pepper. Cover,
and refrigerate until cold.

Place turkey on a rack set in a roasting pan. Reserve 1/4 cup maple
butter for gravy, and rub the remaining maple butter under the skin of
the breast and over the outside of turkey. Arrange onion, celery,
carrots turkey neck and giblets around the turkey. Sprinkle 1
tablespoon thyme and 1 tablespoon marjoram over vegetables. Pour 2
cups broth into pan.

Roast turkey for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Reduce oven temperature to
350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cover entire turkey loosely with foil.
Continue roasting for about 2 1/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer
inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180 degrees F. Transfer
turkey to platter, and let stand 30 minutes.

Strain the pan juices into a large measuring cup, and then remove any
excess fat. Add enough chicken broth to pan juices to measure 3 cups.
Transfer liquid to a saucepan, and bring to boil.

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup maple butter and 1/3 cup flour until
smooth. Whisk flour and butter mixture into broth mixture. Stir in
remaining thyme and the bay leaf. Boil until reduced to sauce
consistency, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in apple
brandy, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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