Champagne Turkey


Champagne Turkey

While the title of the recipe contains Champagne, since it’s added at the very beginning all the alcohol is cooked out of it, leaving the turkey extra tender, juicy and flavorful.   An alternative for the champagne would be sparkling apple cider.


1 whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
1/2 to 1 cup butter or margarine, cubed
2 apples, cored and halved
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste (I use lemon pepper in lieu of salt & pepper)
1 (750 ml) bottle champagne (or sparkling cider)
1 Turkey sized Roasting Bag


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Rinse turkey, and pat dry. Gently loosen turkey breast skin, and insert pieces of butter between the skin and breast1. Place apples inside the turkey’s cavity. Sprinkle with garlic powder (I never measure, just sprinkle until I think it’s had enough) and rub salt and pepper2 all over, inside and out. Place turkey in a roasting bag and pour champagne (or sparkling cider) over the inside and outside of the bird. Close bag, and place turkey in a roasting pan.
  3. Follow the directions on the box for the roasting bag based on the turkey’s size – make sure you add the flour to the bag as it requests, and put slits in the bag per the instructions too (I use one of the slits to put my meat thermometer in). Bake turkey the length of time specified for the weight of your turkey, or until the internal temperature is 180 degrees F (85 degrees C) when measured in the meatiest part of the thigh. Remove turkey from bag, and let stand for 15-20 minutes before carving.

1For a 25 lb bird I’ll use one stick of low fat margarine per breast – less for a smaller bird. It’s easier to push the butter under the skin with your fingers if the butter is not room temperature – either chilled in the fridge or frozen. I’ll cut it into squares to add if its frozen, leave it whole if it’s just chilled, then massage the breasts to warm up the butter with my hands and spread it evenly under the skin (I always joke around that I’m giving the turkey a boob job when I’m adding the butter or margarine).

2In place of the salt and pepper, I use lemon pepper and rub it inside the cavity before putting the apples in it, as well as all over the turkey before putting it in the roasting bag.

Check the turkey during the roasting time to keep an eye on the thermometer – it tends to cook faster than the directions for the roasting bag, though it could be related to my oven, so your oven performance may vary.

While the turkey is ‘resting’, there will be plenty of juice in the bag you can pull to make an excellent gravy – one of our guests is not a gravy lover, but he couldn’t get enough of this gravy!

As for what kind of champagne to use for this turkey – I’ve always used a Spumante – which is considered a sparkling wine.  I’m not big on real dry wines or champagnes, I have enough things to give me a headache, I don’t want something enjoyable to give me one, too.  If you’re replacing the champagne with sparkling cider, be sure to get the white version, not the red.

In case you’re wondering – even cooking in the roasting bag your turkey will turn out with the most wonderful deep golden brown envied in pictures…I was skeptical at first, but have not been disappointed.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly Marie November 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Yum! Can’t wait for Thanksgiving.
~ Kelly Marie


2 Allison B November 25, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Oh my goodness, I think that was one of the best turkeys I’ve made. I did end up using sparkling apple cider, and it was delish! Thank you soo very much for sharing! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! :)


3 Wendy November 26, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I found this when searching and it was absolutely perfect!!! I used sparkling apple cider and after several turkeys of disappointment…..I finally made a great turkey! Thank you!!!!!


4 Parfum January 27, 2012 at 7:17 am

I’m loving it… I have made this for thanksgiving two years in a row and everyove raved about it!

Thanks for the great post!
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5 Tammy March 9, 2012 at 4:47 am

It looks delicious! Never thought about cooking chicken in white wine or even Champagne, should definitely try this.
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6 Parfum Original September 6, 2012 at 11:22 am

I am confident they’ll be benefited from this website


7 TracyAnn0312 September 10, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Taste delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe you have in your blog and I think that when thanksgiving come, I will be able to have a new recipe again.
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8 travel November 9, 2012 at 9:28 am

think that is the best article thet i have read
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9 Sharon November 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm

There are a lot of reasonably priced bottles of Prosecco on the market that would be perfect for this recipe. Prosecco isn’t as sweet as Spumante, but among the sparkling wines, it’s definitely on the sweeter side.

Did I mention reasonably priced? :-)


10 Beşiktaş Böcek İlaçlama March 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Hımmm Thanks!
It looks delicious!


11 Chloe June 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Great post. I always prepare turkey in a roasting bag. I think it’s the best way to seal in the juices and prevent the white meat from drying out. This recipes sounds great. I look forward to trying it. Thanks.
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12 Christina August 27, 2013 at 6:54 am

lovely recipe…yum yum … thanks & keep sharing :)


13 Art December 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Great post :) Champagne is a great drink not only to mix with food but to actually use it to cook food as well!
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14 Anne Sun January 22, 2014 at 4:21 am

Looking at the image really got me in the mood for some turkey. Oh, more than that, it looks so delicious that I can almost taste it just by looking at it.
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15 Salimna April 7, 2014 at 6:08 am

recipes are very useful. I will be practicing at home
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