Thursday, December 3, 2009

Apple Brined Turkey

The OC found this recipe for turkey on the Weber barbeque site several years ago. It was the tastiest turkey we'd ever had, and so has become a Thanksgiving staple, both at our house and at Lily's.

For the brine:

2 quarts apple juice

1 lb brown sugar

1 c. kosher salt

2 quarts water

3 oranges, quartered

4 oz. fresh ginger, thinly sliced (mandolin)

15 whole cloves

6 bay leaves

6 large cloves garlic, crushed

1 turkey, 12-14 lbs

Vegetable oil for brushing turkey

In a large saucepan, over high heat, bring the apple juice, brown sugar and salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Cook for one minute, remove from the heat and skim off the foam. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

In a 5-gallon plastic bucket (Home Depot bucket works great) or other container large enough to easily hold the turkey, combine the water, oranges, ginger, cloves bay leaves and garlic (use a plastic trash bag inside the bucket to minimize the mess and cleanup effort). Add the apple juice mixture and stir.

Note: If you are in a warm climate you can use an insulated cooler instead of a bucket.

Remove and discard the fat from the turkey cavity. Reserve the neck and the giblets for another use, or discard. Rinse the turkey inside and out, drain, and submerge the turkey in the brine. If necessary, top with a heavy weight to make sure the turkey is completely immersed. Refrigerate for 24-hours (i.e. leave in your garage overnight).

Remove the turkey from the brine and pat with paper towels until dry. Tie the legs together with cotton string. Lightly brush the turkey with vegetable oil, and place on a roasting rack set inside a heavy gauge foil pan. To collect drippings for making gravy, pour a little water into the foil pan and replenish as needed to keep drippings from burning. Remove pan from under turkey about 30-minutes before bird should be done and make gravy. Continue cooking turkey until done.( we stuff the turkey with 2-3 quartered apples which are discarded when we carve the bird--meant to keep the inside moist) Grill indirectly over medium heat. When the wings are golden brown, after about 40-minutes, wrap them with aluminum foil to keep them from burning. Brush the rest of the turkey with vegetable oil. When the turkey breast is golden brown, after about 1-hour, cover the turkey with aluminum foil to prevent the skin from getting too brown. The turkey is done when the juices run clear, the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh is 180 degrees F, and the internal temperature of the breast is 170 degrees F. Figure about 11 to 13-minutes per pound.

Transfer the turkey to a cutting board or platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 20-minutes before carving. Makes 12 to 15 servings.

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