Brined and Roasted Turkey
1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large yellow onion, cut into 8ths
1 large orange, cut into 8ths
1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, for basting
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Reserved turkey neck and giblets
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 small bay leaf
3 cups turkey stock, chicken stock, or canned low-salt chicken broth
3 cups water
4 cups turkey broth
1 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey
and reserve for the gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out under
cold running water.
Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least
4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running
water. Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place breast side
down in a large, heavy roasting pan, and rub on all sides with the
butter. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff
the turkey with the onion, orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and
thyme. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string.
For the turkey broth: Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over
medium high heat. Add the turkey neck, heart, and gizzard to the pan
and saute until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add the
chopped vegetables and bay leaf to the pan and saute until soft,
about 2 minutes. Pour the stock and 3 cups of water into the pan and
bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the
stock is reduced to 4 cups, about 1 hour, adding the chopped liver
to the pan during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Strain the stock into a clean pot or large measuring cup. Pull the
meat off the neck, chop the neck meat and giblets, and set aside.
Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour. Remove
from the oven, turn, and baste with 1/2 cup stock. Continue roasting
with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer
registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of
thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking
time. Baste the turkey once every hour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken
or turkey stock.
Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil
and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
For the pan gravy: Pour the reserved turkey pan juices into a
glass-measuring cup and skim off the fat. Place the roasting pan on
2 stovetop burners over medium heat add the pan juice and 1 cup
turkey broth and the white wine to the pan, and deglaze the pan,
stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add
the remaining 3 cup of broth and bring to a simmer, then transfer to
a measuring cup.
In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat.
Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light
roux. Add the hot stock, whisking constantly, then simmer until
thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved neck meat and giblets
to the pan and adjust seasoning, to taste, with salt and black
pepper. Pour into a gravy boat and serve.
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2
gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (such as a clean
bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage
bag.) Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.
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.