Cider-brined and Glazed Turkey
We made this for Thanksgiving in 2005, and it was terrific.
Servings: 12 people
- 4 quarts apple cider (divided)
- 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
- 1/4 cup whole allspice
- 8 bay leaves
- 4 quarts cold water
- 20 pound turkey (neck and gizzard reserved)
For Sage Broth:
- 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 1/2 onion (quartered)
- 1 celery stalk (cut into 4 pieces)
- 8 fresh sage leaves
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup (1 sticunsalted butter
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 cup applejack brandy or Calvados
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- Simmer 1 quart apple cider, salt, allspice, and bay leaves in 20-quart pot 5 minutes, stirring often. Cool completely. Add remaining 3 quarts cider and 4 quarts water. Place turkey in brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Drain turkey and rinse. Arrange on several layers of paper towels in roasting pan. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.
- Simmer all ingredients in large saucepan 30 minutes. Strain sage broth into bowl.
- Boil cider in saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter. Cool completely.
- Set rack at lowest position in oven; preheat to 350°Remove paper towels from roasting pan. Pat main and neck cavities of turkey dry; stuff loosely with stuffing. Place turkey in pan, tuck wings under, and tie legs together loosely.
- Roast turkey 1 hour. Brush with some of glaze. Roast until beginning to brown, about 1 hour. Cover with foil. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, brushing with glaze every 30 minutes and adding up to 1 cup water to pan if drippings begin to burn, about 3 hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter; tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes.
- Pour pan juices into large measuring cup. Spoon off fat. Reserve 3 tablespoons fat and degreased juices. Pour sage broth into roasting pan. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Combine flour, sage leaves, and reserved 3 tablespoons fat in heavy large saucepan; stir over medium heat 1 minute. Whisk in broth from roasting pan and reserved pan juices. Add applejack and cream and boil until gravy thickens slightly, whisking often, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Strain into sauceboat. Serve turkey with gravy.
Unlike most brined turkeys, this one can be stuffed because the apple-cider brine contains less salt than the typical recipe. You can use up to 8 cups of stuffing. Begin brining two days ahead.