1 (10-12 pound) whole fresh turkey,
giblets and neck removed andreserved for stock.
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 rosemary sprigs
3 sprigs sage
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 cup cubed carrots
1 cup cubed celery
1 cup cubed onions
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons cracked black
12 bay leaves
1 cup kosher salt
24 ounces honey or 1 cup of
24 ounces maple syrup (optional)
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
To make the brining solution, in a large stockpot, bring the water, ginger,
black peppercorn, bay leaves and salt to a boil. Lower to a simmer and stir in
the honey (or brown sugar) and maple syrup until well blended. Turn off heat
and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer the brine to a non-reactive
container (such as a clean bucket or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage bag
placed inside a cooler). Add the oranges and lemons.
Note: If you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1⁄2 cup salt
and 1⁄2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.
Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold tap water. Reserve the neck and
specialty meats for pan gravy. Set the turkey in the brine, making sure that the
turkey is fully immersed in the brine. Place a weight on top of the turkey to make
sure it is always covered with brine. Marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight,
depending on the weight of the turkey, in the refrigerator or in a cooler with ice.
YOU MUST KEEP THE TURKEY AT A TEMPERATURE BELOW 50° F
TO PREVENT BACTERIA FROM GROWING.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a heavy roasting pan, place the carrots, celery and onions. Use a thick,
heavy duty roasting pan – enameled cast iron or heavy stainless steel – not a
thin, throw-away pan – these leave hot spots that burn portions and leave
other portions uncooked.
Turkey stock made from boiling the
neck and giblets in four cups of
1 sprig thyme
2 sprigs parsley
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
While the turkey is resting, prepare the gravy.
bring water to a boil and then reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally for about
1 hour. Once the turkey is removed from the oven and the pan, remove the
vegetables from the pan being careful to leave as much liquid as possible in
the pan. Pour the remaining liquid in a separator to separate the fat from the
liquid or try to skim as much fat as possible off the juice in the pan with a
spoon. Reserve the pan drippings.
Set the pan on 2 burners set on medium heat. Deglaze roasting pan with
a small amount of turkey stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any
brown bits. Reduce and then add butter and then the flour when the butter
has melted – cook until the flour turns golden brown and thickens. Gradually
add the pan drippings and then the turkey stock, whisking it into the flour
mixture until it thins into a gravy that coats the back of a spoon. You may not
need all of the turkey stock depending on the thickness of the gravy. Add the
thyme and parsley and bring to a boil.
Strain into a saucepan to remove lumps and keep the gravy at a simmer.
Add pepper to taste and continue to cook until gravy has thickened – if the
gravy thickens too much, just thin with remaining turkey stock.
Place the gravy in a sauceboat and the turkey on the serving platter and
you are ready to eat a great tasting turkey!