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This is my variation of Wolfgang Puck's recipe. The fresh herbs infuse the turkey with incredible flavor, and the brine makes the turkey moist and tender.
- 1 (14 -16 lb) whole turkey
- 1 1⁄2 gallons water
- 1 lb kosher salt
- 4 -5 ounces cracked black peppercorns
- 14 bay leaves
- 1 ounce ground cloves
- 1 ounce ground ginger
- 2 (12 ounce) bottles real maple syrup
- 2 (12 ounce) jars honey
- 1 (12 ounce) jar molasses
- 8 cups chicken broth (WAIT, SEE INSTRUCTION)
- 1⁄2 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaf
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
AROMATIC ROASTING PLATFORM
- 4 carrots, coursely chopped
- 6 stalks celery, coursely chopped
- 1 onion, coursely chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 apples, preferably MacIntosh
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Thaw turkey.
- Prepare brine. Brine must be cool before placing turkey in it. (If no room in fridge for brine, then make it in two stages. Boil all ingredients EXCEPT CHICKEN BROTH Tuesday night, then just add chicken broth Wednesday morning without heating).
- Place turkey in brine 24 hours.
- Remove turkey and pat dry. Gently loosen skin and rub herb butter under skin.
- Place turkey breast up on platform of herbs and veggies, and fill with herbs, apples and onions.
- Place probe in meaty area, not touching bone. Rub olive oil over breast and wings.
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 325 degrees until probe reaches 161 degrees.
- Remove turkey from oven and let sit covered for 20 minutes before slicing.
- This uses the USDA's new recommended internal temperature for turkey in this recipe. This is significantly lower than the old recommendation, but allows for a much juicier turkey.