Prep 45 mins
Cook 2 hrs
I found this recipe about 5 years ago in Cooking Light and have been using it ever since. It makes the best Turkey ever and couldn't imagine preparing mine any other way now. Very juicy and delicious!!! This is for a 12 1/2 lb turkey. I usually double it for a bigger turkey.
- 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 ginger, slices (peeled and fresh)
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 turkey (12 lb. fresh or frozen)
- 2 oranges (quartered)
- 6 cups ice
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 sage leaves
- 4 thyme, springs
- 4 parsley sprigs
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and divided0)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, divided
Savory Herb Gravy
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- turkey neck, and giblets
- 4 cups water
- 6 black peppercorns
- 4 parsley sprigs
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered
- 1 carrot, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- reserved turkey drippings
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 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. Refrigerat for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees:.
- Remove turkey from bags and discard bring, 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 twine. Place garlic, sage, thyme, parsely, onion, and broth in the botom of a roasting pan. Place roasting rack in pan. Arrange turkey, breast side down on roastick rack. Brush turkey back with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 500% for 30 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- 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 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meat party of thigh registers 170 degrees. Remove turkey from oven; let stand20 minutes. Reserve pan drippings for Savory Herb Gravy.
- Directions for Gravy:.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add turkey neck and giblets; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Add water and next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 2 1/2 cups (about 1 hours). Strain through a colander over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid and turkey neck. Discard remaining solids. Chill cooking liquid completely.Skim fat from surface, and discard. Remove meat from neck; finely chop meat. Discard neck bone. Add neck meat to cooking liquid.
- Strain the reserved turkey drippings throug a colander over a shallow bowl; discard solids. Place strained drippings in freezer for 20 minutes. Skim fat from surface; discard.
- Place flour in a medium saucepan; add 1/4 cup cooking liquid, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add remaining cooking liquid, turkey drippings, salt and pepper; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Moist and delicous!
This is the recipe I have been using for more than 10 years. I get rave reviews from family and guests every time I serve it. A note: when this turkey is cooking it does not smell like like unbrined turkey. The first time I made this recipe while it was cooking I thought I had ruined the turkey and thought it would taste "cidery" but it tastes wonderful tender and juicy with subtle flavors added from the brine. Thanks for posting.