Spice-Brined Turkey with Cider Pan Gravy

Yield: 12     (serving size: 6 oz. turkey + about 1/4 cup sauce)

5 quarts water

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. kosher salt

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh ginger (about 6 oz.)

2 tbsp. coarsely crushed cloves

2 tbsp. coarsely crushed cardamom pods

2 tbsp. coarsely crushed whole allspice

2 tbsp. coarsely crushed black peppercorns

1 (12 lbs.) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed

2 cups (14 oz.) homemade chicken broth, divided

1 1/2 cups apple cider

1/4 cup (1.1 oz.) all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

kitchen twine

turkey-sized oven bags

  1. Combine first (7) ingredients in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook until salt is dissolved. Remove pan from heat; cool completely.
  2. Remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey, or reserve for another use. Trim excess fat and skin. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Add turkey to pan, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning turkey occasionally.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Remove turkey from brine; discard brine. Rinse turkey with col water; pat dry. Place turkey, breast side up, in an oven bag on roasting pan. Pour 1 cup broth into bag; seal bag and slice top several times to vent. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees (do not remove turkey from oven). Bake turkey at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165 degrees. Remove turkey from oven; let stand 30 minutes.
  6. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to top). Seal bag; carefully snip off one bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into measuring cup, stopping before fat layer reaches opening (reserve 1 tbsp. fat). Combine drippings, remaining broth and cider in a small bowl. Place broiler pan on stove top over medium heat, scraping to loosen browned bits. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level with knife. Add flour and reserved fat to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Slowly add broth mixture, stirring with whisk; cook 4 minutes or until thickened. Stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

CALORIES 341 (8% from fat); FAT 3g (sat. fat 0.4g); CHOL 185mg; SOD 500mg; CARB 6.9g; FIBER 0.2g; PROTEIN 67.5g

from Cooking Light magazine, November 2008


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