Apple Cider-Brined Turkey with Savory Herb GravyLaurel
The greatest thanksgiving turkey of all time...adapted from a Cooking Light recipe from a few years ago. Brining is an overnight process, so if you’re using a frozen turkey, be sure to thaw it well in advance. Choose turkey-sized plastic oven bags for brining the turkey. Use two bags to prevent brine from leaking, and place the turkey in a large stockpot as another precaution and makes it easier to fill the bags.
- 8 cups apple cider
- 2/3 cup kosher salt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice, coarsely crushed
- 8 (1/8-inch-thick) slices peeled fresh ginger
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 (12-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
- 2 oranges, quartered
- 6 cups ice
- REMAINING INGREDIENTS:
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 sage leaves
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 4 parsley sprigs
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- Savory Herb Gravy
To prepare brine, combine first 8 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool completely.
Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for Savory Herb Gravy. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Stuff body cavity with orange quarters. Place a turkey-sized oven bag inside a second bag to form a double thickness. Place bags in a large stockpot. Place turkey inside inner bag. Add cider mixture and ice. Secure bags with several twist ties. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 500°.
Remove turkey from bags, and discard brine, orange quarters, and bags. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Place garlic, sage, thyme, parsley, onion, and broth in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place roasting rack in pan. Arrange turkey, breast side down, on roasting rack. Brush turkey back with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 500° for 30 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
Remove turkey from oven. Carefully turn turkey over (breast side up) using tongs. Brush turkey breast with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 170° (make sure not to touch bone). (Shield the turkey with foil if it browns too quickly.) Remove turkey from oven; let stand 20 minutes. Reserve pan drippings for Savory Herb Gravy. Discard skin before serving; serve with gravy.