Flipping the Bird!

You all were probably wondering when we would get to the turkey, it wouldn’t be a pre-Thanksgiving without one!  Well, here it is in all its glory.  Shiny, brown and full of flavor, a brined turkey is pretty amazing.  We love them because the flavors from the brine seep into the entire bird and are not solely relegated to the skin (which if you are like us, is not a favorite).  It also helps the bird retain moisture and requires no stuffing!  It takes quite a bit of time for the turkey to brine, so there is some planning required, but oh so worth it when you pull a perfectly moist, beautiful bird out of the oven*!

thebird

 

Savory Brined Turkey

Buy It!

10 cups apple cider
4 cups water
4 cups ice
1 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon pepper corns
1 tablespoon whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise pods
1 orange, sliced
2 green apples, cubed
6 sprigs rosemary
1 bunch thyme
1 leek, sliced
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 turkey
Olive oil for rubbing

brine_liquid TheBrine

Make It!

Brining has to be done ahead of cooking time.  Turkeys need to brine for at least 24 hours and can brine up to 48.  To prepare the brine, pour half the cider and half the water into a large pot with the salt and sugar.  Heat on high and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add the remaining cider, water and ice to cool the liquid down.  Rinse turkey and remove neck and giblets.  It is important to get a fresh turkey for brining, additives will make for a very salty unpalatable turkey.  Place turkey in the brining solution (a brining bag can be used, we used the pot and place a heavy plate on top to keep the turkey submerged).  Keep in the refrigerator for the required brining time.

brinedbird

To cook, preheat the oven to 500°F.  Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse inside and out.  Pat the turkey dry and let reach room temperature.  Cover the turkey in olive oil and place in the oven.  Cook at 500 for 30 minutes.   Insert a probe, brush the turkey with more olive oil and reduce the temp to 350.  Roast for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the bird, or until the probe registers 165.

final_dish

 

*We had issues with consistent oven temps and our bird sadly burnt (we also had a brown sugar glaze on there that caramelized a little too much).  If you are worried about burning and don’t mind longer roasting time, you can skip the 500 degree step but it will take a good 1-2 hours longer for the bird to roast.

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