APPLE BRINED TURKEY

Soaking your turkey in a salt solution (a.k.a. “brining") before roasting can make the meat more moist and flavourful. This recipe adds apple juice, sugar and spices to the mix for a juicy and delicious bird. If you’ve never brined before, give it a try — you may be surprised by the results.

Yield: Serves 12.

APPLE BRINED TURKEY

Ingredients

  • 8 cups unsweetened apple juice*
  • 2 3/4 cups packed golden brown sugar*
  • 1 cup kosher salt*
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled*
  • 3 bay leaves*
  • 1 tsp whole cloves*
  • 1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced*
  • 12 cups water
  • 15 lb (7 kg) frozen turkey, thawed
  • 1/3 cup salted butter, melted

Directions

  1. To prepare brine, combine apple juice, brown sugar, salt, garlic, bay leaves, cloves and ginger in a large non-reactive saucepan. Bring to boil and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar and salt are dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely.
  2. Combine apple juice mixture and water in a 5 gallon (20 L) food-safe non-reactive container, such as an unchipped enamel canner.
  3. Remove neck and giblets from turkey cavities and reserve for another use. Submerge turkey in brine. As turkey will float, weigh it down using a plate with a jar of water on it. Keep turkey submerged completely. Cover container and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but no longer than 16 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  5. Remove turkey from brine; discard brine. Rinse turkey under cold running water; pat dry. Secure wings with metal skewers and tie legs together using butcher's twine.
  6. Place turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. Brush with melted butter.
  7. Roast for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325°F and continue roasting, basting occationally, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, about 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
  8. Transfer turkey to a platter and tent loosely with foil. Let stand for 30 minutes before carving. The internal temperature of turkey will continue to rise several degrees during standing. The final reading should be 180 - 185°F in the thigh and 170 - 175°F in the breast.
Nutritional analysis per serving:

693 calories, 38.9 g fat, 70.8 mg protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 0.1 g fibre, 2571 mg sodium

*Ingredients not included in nutritional analysis.

Tip: It is important to use a thawed or fresh turkey weighing no more than 15 lb (7 kg). Use only kosher salt for the brine in this recipe. Do not substitute using table salt as the brine will be too salty. Gravy made from pan drippings may be salty. Be sure to taste gravy before adding any salt.
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