This turkey is "brined" in a mix of water, salt, honey and seasonings. The results are an incredibly tender turkey. You do need to get started a day ahead
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- 19 -20 lbs turkey, neck, heart and gizzard reserved for gravy
- 8 quarts water
- 2 cups coarse salt
- 1 cup honey
- 2 bunches fresh thyme
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black pepper
- 2 lemons, halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (about)
- 1FOR TURKEY: Line extra-large stock pot with heavy large plastic bag.
- 2(about 30 gal. capacity) Rinse turkey; place in plastic bag.
- 3Stir 8 quarts water, 2 cups coarse salt and 1 cup honey in large pot until salt and honey dissolve.
- 4Add 1 bunch fresh thyme, peeled garlic cloves and black pepper.
- 5Pour brine over turkey.
- 6Gather plastic bag tightly around turkey so that bird is covered with brine; seal plastic bag.
- 7Refrigerate pot with turkey in brine at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours.
- 8Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F.
- 9Drain turkey well; discard brine.
- 10Pat turkey dry inside and out.
- 11Squeeze juice from lemon halves into main cavity.
- 12Add lemon rinds and remaining 1 bunch of fresh thyme to main cavity.
- 13Tuck wings under turkey; tie legs together loosely to hold shape.
- 14Place on rack set in large roasting pan.
- 15Rub turkey all over with 2 TBS olive oil.
- 16Roast turkey 1 hour.
- 17Baste with 1 cup chicken broth.
- 18Continue to roast until turkey is deep brown and thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F, basting with 1 cup chicken broth every 30 minutes and covering loosely with foil if turkey is browning too quickly, about 2 1/2 hours longer.
- 19Transfer turkey to platter.
- 20Tent loosely with foil let stand 30 minutes.
- 21Pour pan juices into glass measuring cup, spoon off fat and reserve.
- 22MEANWHILE, PREPARE GRAVY: Place reserved turkey neck, heart and gizzard into a large saucepan.
- 23Add 6 cups water, 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, carrots,onion, celery and bay leaf.
- 24Simmer over medium heat until turkey stock is reduced to 3 cups, about 2 hours.
- 25Strain into a bowl; reserve turkey neck and giblets.
- 26Pull meat off neck.
- 27Chop neck meat and giblets; set aside.
- 28Melt 5 TBS butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
- 29Add 5 TBS flour and whisk for 2 minutes.
- 30Gradually whisk in turkey stock, cream and up to 1 cup reserved turkey pan juices (juices are salty so add according to taste).
- 31Simmer gravy until thickened to desired consistency, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- 32Add chopped turkey neck meat and giblets; season to taste with pepper.
- 33Serve turkey with gravy.
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Nutritional Facts for Honey Brined Turkey With Cream Gravy
Serving Size: 1 (1328 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 14
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 1177.8
- Calories from Fat 523
- Total Fat 58.1 g
- Saturated Fat 18.0 g
- Cholesterol 437.7 mg
- Sodium 16667.9 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 28.5 g
- Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
- Sugars 20.9 g
- Protein 129.9 g
The following items or measurements are not included: