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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Brined and Roasted Turkey

A brined turkey is so much moister and better than a regular turkey. It is well worth the effort. This recipe is based off the recipe for Good Eats Roast Turkey, but I have changed it a bit.

The turkey should be somewhere between 12- 16 pounds and this must be done a few days in advance.

For the brine
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1 gallon iced water

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
The night before cooking combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

1 red apple
1/2 onion sliced
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
Canola oil

A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.
Cook as suggested for your size bird.

You can also brine a deep-fried turkey and increase flavor that way.

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