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BRINED THANKSGIVING TURKEY

Updated: December 19, 2012 10:39AM



MAKES ENOUGH FOR 20-POUND TURKEY

2 sticks cinnamon

4 bay leaves

2 whole star anise

1/4 black peppercorns

12 whole juniper
berries

1 gallon water

3 cups kosher salt

2 cups brown sugar

1 whole onion, peeled and chopped

2 whole celery rib, chopped

6 garlic cloves, whole

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1 bunch thyme, chopped

6 sprigs rosemary, chopped

3 whole oranges, halved

2 apples, grilled and coarsely chopped

1 fennel bulb, grilled and coarsely chopped

1 gallon water

1 gallon apple juice

1 (15- to 20-pound) turkey

In a heavy pot, toast the first 5 ingredients until they become fragrant. Add 1 gallon of water and all of the remaining ingredients through fennel bulb.

Cook over medium-high heat until the water simmers and the salt and sugar dissolve completely. Add the remaining water and juice and chill until mixture reaches 45 degrees.

Inject the turkey with the brine by spacing injections 3 inches apart, until the flesh begins to puff and is firm. Focus on the thickest parts of the bird for a total of 6 to 10 injections.

Submerge the turkey completely in the brine. Store the turkey below 40 degrees for 1 hour per pound.

Once brined, remove from the solution, rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Allow the bird to sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours until the skin becomes tacky to the touch. (This will aid in the color and crispness of the skin while cooking.)

Roast bird at 325 degrees for an average of 15 minutes per pound, or until the breast meat reaches 165 degrees. Let the turkey rest for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.

Chef JJ Boston,
Indianapolis



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