Recipe: Apple Infused Thanksgiving Turkey
This turkey requires brining for 18 to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
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Makes 8 to 10 servings
For the brine
1 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
8 cups (1/2 gallon) apple cider
4 cups unsweetened apple sauce
1 head of garlic
1 gallon cold water
For the turkey
10-12 pound turkey, preferably fresh
4 large carrots
4 ribs celery
3 large yellow onions
2 apples (Braeburn or Granny Smith)
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1. Preparation 1 day before. Remove giblets and neck from cavity of turkey, and then rinse turkey well.
2. In a pot large enough to hold the turkey and the brine, add the salt, sugar, cider and applesauce. Whisk vigorously to dissolve. Peel garlic and smash with the flat of a knife, then rough cut and add to brine mixture. Add cold water and mix well. Place turkey in brine making sure to submerge it completely. Weight it down with a plate if necessary. Turkey must stay below 40 degrees during the brining period. Place pot with turkey in refrigerator and brine for 18-24 hours.
3. To cook the turkey. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack placed low in the oven. Remove turkey from brine, discard brine, pat turkey dry and let sit at room temperature for no more than a 1/2 hour before putting it in to roast.
4. Wash carrots and celery, then rough cut into large pieces. Peel onion and rough cut. Add vegetables to a shallow roasting pan. Core the two apples, rough cut, and place half in the cavity of the turkey and half in the pan with the vegetables. Add wine and stock to roasting pan. Place turkey breast side up in the roasting pan on top of the vegetables. Rub the softened butter all over the outside of the turkey, then season outside as well as the cavity with the salt and pepper.
5. Place pan with the turkey in oven on low rack and roast. After 20 minutes turn oven down to 325 degrees and baste turkey with liquid from the roasting pan about every 20 minutes. Do this quickly so you don't lose all the heat from your oven. If turkey begins to get too dark, cover loosely with foil. Roast until an instant-read thermometer measures a minimum of 165 degrees in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast without touching the bone. Juices should run clear.
6. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes loosely covered with foil before carving. Strain vegetables from roasting pan and reserve liquid for making the gravy.
From Tom Dillard, Seattle Culinary Academy at Seattle Central Community College.
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