Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Turkey Brine and Roasting Recipe

2 quarts apple cider
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2 cups kosher salt
1/4 cup black peppercorns
1 tablespoon juniper berries
4 bay leaves
1 cinnamon sticks (3-inch)
1 teaspoon whole cloves
4 quarts dark beer (I am using my own German Rye)

Other needed ingredients:
1 stick butter
1 cup chicken stock
Your preferred seasoning, or a mix of sage, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and ground celery seed.
  1. Dissolve brine ingredients together. Pour into a large bucket or cooler. Add a thawed turkey and submerge in the brine. (Weight it with a brick if needed to keep it submerged.)
  2. Keep it cool for 24 hours. When ready to roast, pat dry and place in roaster.
  3. Melt the butter. Basted the turkey with half the butter. Season it well. Roast at 400F for 30 minutes.
  4. Baste with remaining butter. Reseason. Turn the oven down to 300F and roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Baste with 1/2 cup chicken stock. Reseason. Baste once more, about half-way through this roasting period. 
Total roasting time is 15-17 minutes per pound (unstuffed turkey). Roast to an internal temp of 155F in the thickest part of the breast, but not touching bone. When you withdraw the thermometer, the juices should run clear. I know the serving temp for turkey is at least 165F. But when you are done roasting, you need to let the turkey rest before carving, 20-30 minutes. During that time, the bird will continue to cook (all that mass hold heat very well.)  When you are ready to carve, the temp will be at least 165. (That's why so many birds are overdone and dry, because by the time the bird is carved the internal temp is 180 or more.)

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