"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"
19 -20 lbs
turkey, neck, heart and gizzard reserved for gravy
garlic cloves, peeled
coarsely cracked black pepper
reduced-sodium chicken broth
turkey giblets, neck, heart, gizzard
3 1/2 cups
canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
carrots, coarsely chopped
celery rib, chopped
FOR TURKEY: Line extra-large stock pot with heavy large plastic bag.
(about 30 gal. capacity) Rinse turkey; place in plastic bag.
Stir 8 quarts water, 2 cups coarse salt and 1 cup honey in large pot until salt and honey dissolve.
Add 1 bunch fresh thyme, peeled garlic cloves and black pepper.
Pour brine over turkey.
Gather plastic bag tightly around turkey so that bird is covered with brine; seal plastic bag.
Refrigerate pot with turkey in brine at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours.
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F.
Drain turkey well; discard brine.
Pat turkey dry inside and out.
Squeeze juice from lemon halves into main cavity.
Add lemon rinds and remaining 1 bunch of fresh thyme to main cavity.
Tuck wings under turkey; tie legs together loosely to hold shape.
Place on rack set in large roasting pan.
Rub turkey all over with 2 TBS olive oil.
Roast turkey 1 hour.
Baste with 1 cup chicken broth.
Continue 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.
Transfer turkey to platter.
Tent loosely with foil let stand 30 minutes.
Pour pan juices into glass measuring cup, spoon off fat and reserve.
MEANWHILE, PREPARE GRAVY: Place reserved turkey neck, heart and gizzard into a large saucepan.
Add 6 cups water, 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, carrots,onion, celery and bay leaf.
Simmer over medium heat until turkey stock is reduced to 3 cups, about 2 hours.
Strain into a bowl; reserve turkey neck and giblets.
Pull meat off neck.
Chop neck meat and giblets; set aside.
Melt 5 TBS butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
Add 5 TBS flour and whisk for 2 minutes.
Gradually whisk in turkey stock, cream and up to 1 cup reserved turkey pan juices (juices are salty so add according to taste).
Simmer gravy until thickened to desired consistency, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Add chopped turkey neck meat and giblets; season to taste with pepper.
Serve turkey with gravy.
Page 2 of 2
Honey Brined Turkey With Cream Gravy (cont.)