Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy

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Ingredients

  • For the brine:

  • 7L water
  • 1L apple cider
  • 230g salt
  • 65g granulated sugar
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1cm Technique: Dicing Cutting a larger piece of food into even cube-shaped pieces. I know this Teach me, please dice
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm Technique: Dicing Cutting a larger piece of food into even cube-shaped pieces. I know this Teach me, please dice
  • 3 celery stalks, Technique: Dicing Cutting a larger piece of food into even cube-shaped pieces. I know this Teach me, please diced
  • 1 head garlic, cut in ½ equatorially
  • ½ bunch fresh rosemary
  • ½ bunch fresh sage
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 turkey, free range organic
  • For the herb crust:

  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary, leaves finely Technique: Chop To cut large ingredients or dishes into smaller chunks using a sharp knife. You can chop using a serrated blade fitted inside your food processor. I know this Teach me, please chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh sage, leaves finely Technique: Chop To cut large ingredients or dishes into smaller chunks using a sharp knife. You can chop using a serrated blade fitted inside your food processor. I know this Teach me, please chopped
  • 350g butter, room temperature
  • Salt
  • For the gravy:

  • 1 large onion, Technique: Dicing Cutting a larger piece of food into even cube-shaped pieces. I know this Teach me, please diced
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, Technique: Dicing Cutting a larger piece of food into even cube-shaped pieces. I know this Teach me, please diced
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1cm Technique: Dicing Cutting a larger piece of food into even cube-shaped pieces. I know this Teach me, please dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cut into 1cm Technique: Dicing Cutting a larger piece of food into even cube-shaped pieces. I know this Teach me, please dice
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • Salt
  • 1L chicken stock, divided
  • 475ml apple cider, divided
  • 60g to 90g Measurement: Cup A cup is an American imperial measurement used to measure all your ingredients, from milk and water through to flour, fruit and vegetables. Search online for metric conversions. I know this Buy cups cup all-purpose flour

Use imperial measurements

Method

How to make Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy

Directions

To brine the turkey: Combine all of the ingredients for the brine in a large container. Add the turkey and let it brine in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

To prepare the turkey for cooking: Remove the turkey from the brine the night before roasting and pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels. Combine the rosemary, sage, and butter for the herb crust in a small bowl. Season, to taste, with salt. Work the butter under the skin of the turkey and massage it into the breasts and the legs. Massage the butter on the outside of the skin as well. Tie the legs together over the breast so they will protect it during cooking and help keep it moist and juicy.

Gravy preparation: Put the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, apples, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and thyme in a roasting pan and season with salt. Arrange the turkey on top of the veggies and refrigerate overnight uncovered. Yes, that's right, uncovered. This will help the skin dry out and become really brown and crispy. Make sure that there is no raw food near the turkey in the refrigerator. After refrigerating overnight, the turkey is ready to go in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 230°C.

Put 465ml chicken stock and 240ml apple cider in the bottom of the roasting pan. Roast the turkey in the preheated oven until the skin gets really nice and brown, about 40 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 180°C for the remainder of the cooking time. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes or so and add more stock to the roasting pan, if needed. Cook about 17 minutes per pound. Once it gets to the proper colour, tent the turkey with foil to prevent it from getting too dark.

Remove the turkey from the oven when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the turkey registers 70°C. Make sure that the thermometer is not touching a bone when doing the reading. When the turkey has reached the proper temperature, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil.

Strain all the veggies over a bowl to separate them from the stock/mixture. Discard the veggies. Skim off the fat and add it to the roasting pan. This is the fat for the roux. Put the roasting pan over 2 burners and over a low heat and Technique: Whisk Using light, rapid sweeping strokes to thicken or thoroughly combine ingredients. You can also use a whisk attachment attached to a food processor. I know this Teach me, please whisk in the flour. Cook until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly Technique: Whisk Using light, rapid sweeping strokes to thicken or thoroughly combine ingredients. You can also use a whisk attachment attached to a food processor. I know this Teach me, please whisk in the remaining 240ml apple cider, remaining chicken stock and the stock/cider mixture. Cook until the mixture has thickened and reached a gravy consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into a serving pitcher or bowl.

Carve the turkey, transfer to a serving platter and serve with the gravy.

Cook's Note: Don't fight over the drumsticks.

Give thanks for such a great turkey.