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The cooking method is a copy of "Good Eats", but the brine is something I cobbled together from a couple of recipes and trial and error. The bird always come out moist and tasting great. This is my first submission and I would love some feedback.
- 1 whole turkey
- 1⁄4 cup canola oil, as needed
- 2 gallons apple juice or 2 gallons apple cider
- 2 cups kosher salt
- 1 2⁄3 cups brown sugar, packed
- 14 whole cloves
- 4 teaspoons black pepper
- 4 teaspoons dried sage
- 4 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 large red apple, sliced
- 1⁄2 medium onion, sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 large oranges, zest of or 1 large tangerine, zest of
- 1 cup water
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 6 leaves fresh sage
- THE DAY BEFORE:.
- Combine all brine ingredients in a non-reactive pot. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve solids, then remove from heat. Allow brine to cool completly.
- Rinse the turkey under cool running water, inside and out (remove giblets from body cavity). Pat the turdey dry with paper towels, then immerse turkey in cooled brine. Cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours. 24 hours is better.
- Be sure container fro brining turkey is non-reactive (enamel, glass, stainless steel, plastic ice chest, etc.), I use a 5 gallon bucket lined with a plastic trash bag. The turkey should be completly submerged in liquid. Place a weight on top of bird if necessary to keep it submerged. if the climate is cool enough just set it in the garage overnight, otherwise use the fridge or an ice chest.
- THE DAY OF:.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
- Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, orage zest and water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. (or steep in boiling water).
- Remove turkey from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.
- Place bird on a roasting rack, breast up, inside a wide low pan and pat dry with paper towels.
- Add steeped aromatics along with rosemary sprigs and sage leaves to the body cavity.
- Tuck back the wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola oil.
- Roast on lowest lever of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. (give the turkey a half turn after 15 minutes so it browns evenly).
- Remove from oven and cover breast with a double triangle of aluminum foil, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast.
- Reduce overn temperature to 350 degrees F. and return turkey to oven.
- Cook turkey to 165 degrees F., remove from oven and let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 15 minutes before carving. And don't forget to check the temperature carry over.
- This recipe is enough to brine a 25 lb. turkey.
- A 13-16 lb. bird should cook in about 2 to 2-1/2 hours. A 22 lb. bird takes about 3 hours.
- You may want to use less salt in the brine for smaller bird (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups).