Apple Cider-Brined Turkey
8 cups apple cider
2/3 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
1 tablespoon whole allspice, coarsely crushed
8 (1/8-inch-thick) slices peeled fresh ginger
6 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 12-pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
2 oranges, quartered
6 cups ice
4 garlic cloves
4 sage leaves
4 thyme sprigs
1 onion, quartered
1 14-ounce can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon sat, divided
To prepare brine, combine first eight ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool completely.
Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey with cold water and pat dry. Trim excess fat. Stuff body cavity with orange quarters. Place turkey-sized oven bag inside a second bag to form a double thickness. Place bags in a large stockpot. Place turkey inside inner bag. Add cider mixture and ice. Secure bags with several twist ties. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Remove turkey from bags and discard brine, orange quarters and bags. Rinse turkey with cold water, and pat dry. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Place garlic, sage, thyme, parsley, onion and broth in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place roasting rack in pan. Arrange turkey, breast side down, on roasting rack. Brush turkey back with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 500 for 30 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350.
Remove turkey from oven. Carefully turn turkey over (breast side up) using tongs. Brush turkey breast with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 170 (make sure not to touch bone). Shield the turkey with foil if it browns too quickly. Remove turkey from oven; let stand 20 minutes.
Makes 12 servings.
Recipe from Cooking Light