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Apple Cider-Brined Turkey with Herb Butter

Ingredients

Brine:

  • 3 C . apple cider
  • 1 green apple quartered
  • 1/2 navel orange
  • 2 Tbsp . coriander seeds
  • 2 Tbsp . fennel seeds
  • 4 tarragon sprigs
  • 1 medium bunch of thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 8 leaves sage
  • 1 Tbsp . whole allspice berries
  • 2 cloves whole
  • 1 Tbsp . whole black peppercorn
  • 2 C light brown sugar
  • 1 C kosher salt
  • 10 lb . whole turkey

Herb Butter:

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp & 1/2 . thyme chopped
  • 1 Tbsp & 1/2 . parsley chopped
  • 1 Tbsp . chives chopped
  • 1 Tbsp . sage chopped
  • 1 Tbsp . salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Mise en place. (Especially all the spices). In a pot, combine all the brine ingredients (except for the turkey) and 4 C. of water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  • Remove from heat and add 12 C. cold water (in a container large enough to hold liquid and turkey). Let stand until cool. Add the turkey and refrigerate for 12-24 hrs.
  • Set a rack over a baking sheet. Remove turkey from brine and place on rack. Pat dry with paper towels. Refrigerate it uncovered for 12 hrs.
  • When ready to cook. Make herb butter: blend all ingredients except salt and pepper. Pre-heat oven to 325°.
  • Remove turkey from refrigerator. Clean baking sheet. Place turkey back on rack. Gently separate the turkey skin from the breast meat. Spread 1/2-3/4 of butter mix under the skin. Spread the rest over the outside of the turkey. Sprinkle salt and pepper over turkey. Truss.
  • Bake 3 to 3 & 1/2 hrs., until thigh is 180° and breast meat is 165°, covering turkey partway through (to prevent over-browning).
  • Let rest at least 15 min. before serving.