Brined Turkey- 14 to 16 Pounds

By: Chef Gary Arabia, CG Marketplace

Note: Turkey needs to be in brine 24 hours before you plan to cook it

1 ½ gallons water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 bay leaves
¼ cup juniper berries
1T chili flakes
2T coriander seeds
1T black Peppercorns
1. Heat water until boil. Add all dry ingredients. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. COOL COMPLETELY!
2. Place turkey breast in brine, cover and refrigerate. Try to pick a pot or container that allows the turkey to be fully covered in the brine. If not, place turkey and brine in plastic bag and tie.

For roasting:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees standard oven, or 400 convection oven
Reserved turkey neck
2 yellow onions, medium dice
2 carrots, medium dice
2 celery stalks, medium dice
3 cups salt free chicken stock
Fresh ground black pepper
2 oz. melted butter
1. Place onions, carrots and celery the bottom of a roasting pan large enough to fit the turkey.
2. Remove the turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
3. Massage butter all over skin, and if there is any left, open up slightly under the skin and put the rest there.
4. Pour 1 cup of stock into bottom of pan. Save the rest for gravy making!
5. Place turkey on vegetables breast side up. Place in preheated oven. Set timer for 15 minutes. The goal is to brown the skin to the desired color. Check after fifteen minutes, and if you need more color, set timer accordingly. I usually have the turkey in the browning stage for 30 minutes, but ovens vary in how they brown!
6. When the skin is the desired color reduce heat to 325 for a standard oven or 300 for a convection oven.
7. Set the timer for 3 hours for a 14-16lb turkey. At that time, take its temperature at the thickest part of the thigh. Our target temperature for removal from the oven is 160 degrees! Reset timer as needed to reach internal temperature of 160 degrees.
8. When turkey has reached 160 degrees, remove from oven, place on another pan or platter, and cover with foil. This is where the finishing cooking will take place.

3 Tablespoons all purpose flour for thickening gravy
1. Add flour to bottom of roasting pan, and stir to dissolve lumps. Put over medium heat burner.
2. Add remaining stock, and stir to combine with flour.
3. Bring up to a low simmer, and allow to cook for 10 or so minutes. You may need to add a little more stock or water to achieve desired gravy thickness!
4. Adjust seasoning for gravy with salt and white pepper. Strain.

Uncover Turkey, put on a platter and carve. Serve with the gravy.


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