Unbelievable Agave-Brined Herb Turkey

Total Time
15hrs
Prep 12 hrs
Cook 3 hrs

I finally jumped on the brining bandwagon and, boy, am I glad I did! I ended up with the moistest and most flavorful turkey yet. I'm sure I could continue to tweak this but, what's the point, I don't want to mess with success! The leftovers on this turkey were just as moist and delicious as when it was first cooked. You can't beat that!

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. To make brine, combine all ingredients in a large pot and stir until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved. Line a large bucket or pot with a food-safe plastic bag, and add turkey to the bag. Pour brine over turkey, making sure it is totally immersed in brine and seal bag tightly with a knot. Place turkey in bag in bucket or pot and keep in a cool place (or refrigerate) for 6 to 12 hours, turning occasionally to evenly brine bird. (I do this right before I go to bed the night before and keep it in the garage.).
  2. On the day of serving, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove turkey from brine, rinse and pat dray. (You can discard the bag and the brine.) Squeeze lemon halves all over turkey, top and bottom, as well as in the cavity. Add apple, onion, lemon halves, and herbs to the cavity. Gently loosen skin from breast and rub breast generously with butter, as well as outside of turkey. Season with salt and pepper, then truss turkey, pinning back wings.
  3. Using a large deep roasting pan with a rack, spray rack generously with non-stick cooking spray. Place turkey on rack breast-side down and loosely cover with foil. Add about 2 cups of chicken stock to the bottom of the roasting pan and cook for 1-1/2 hours, basting often.
  4. After 1-1/2 hours, remove foil and flip turkey over so it is now breast-side up. Continue cooking for another hour, basting often. After 1 hour, remove turkey and cut drumsticks loose so that when they are done, they will move loosely in their sockets. Cook for about another 1/2 hour, checking temperature for doneness (180 degrees for thigh and 170 degrees for breast). When turkey is done, remove from oven and cover with foil. Let stand for 1 hour (very important). Reserve drippings for your gravy, if desired.
  5. While turkey is standing, heat remaining broth and keep warm on low heat. After 1 hour, you may carve the turkey and arrange in a large roasting or baking pan. Pour a little chicken broth over all, cover pan with foil, and keep warm in a 250 degree oven until ready to serve. While the turkey is keeping warm, you can finish off your side dishes, etc. When ready to serve, arrange carved turkey on platter.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a