cracked black pepper
garlic cloves, crushed
12 cups apple cider or 12 cups
1 (12 lb)
whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
- In a large stockpot, combine first 5 ingredients with 6 cups of the apple cider; bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes to completely dissolve the sugar and salt; stir in remaining apple cider and let the mixture cool.
- Rinse the turkey well with cold water and place in a doubled oven bag (2 bags, one inside the other); pour cider mixture into the bag with the turkey and close securely.
- Marinate the turkey, in the refrigerator, for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
- Once marinated, remove turkey from bag and rinse well with cold water (discard liquid); pat dry with paper towels.
- Use your fingers to loosen the skin of the turkey being careful not to fully remove or tear; spread 1 tablespoon of the creole seasoning under the skin and another tablespoon of the seasoning in the cavity.
- Sprinkle the outside of the turkey with the remaining creole seasoning; let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F making sure to leave enough room in the oven for the turkey (I usually have to remove one oven rack).
- Place the turkey on a roasting rack with the breast side up; brush with melted butter.
- Roast turkey until the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees F on an internal meat thermometer, about 3 hours; loosely cover turkey with aluminum foil if it browns too quickly.
- Baste turkey with pan juices occasionally during the last hour of cooking; let stand 15 minutes before slicing.