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Apple Cider Brined Roasted Turkey and Gravy

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours plus cooling and chilling • Serves: 12

1/2 gallon (8 cups) apple cider, divided
4 bay leaves
1-1/4 cups plus 2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 tablespoons whole allspice
1 Schnucks fresh or frozen (thawed) turkey (12 to 14 pounds)
16 cups ice cold water
1 container (48 ounces) less-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 cup Schnucks unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1/2 cup Schnucks all-purpose flour

1. In 2- to 3-quart saucepan, prepare brine by heating 4 cups cider, bay leaves, 1-1/4 cups salt and allspice to boiling over high heat; stir to dissolve salt. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Remove giblets, neck and liver from turkey. Place turkey in 12-quart (3-gallon) stainless steel stockpot or another suitable container. Pour cold water, remaining apple cider and cooled brine mixture over turkey. Place heavy plate on turkey to completely submerge in brine; refrigerate 12 to 14 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove turkey from stockpot; discard brine. Rinse turkey under cool running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place roasting rack in large, heavy metal roasting pan. Pour 1 cup broth in bottom of pan. Place turkey, breast side up, on rack; tuck wing tips under turkey to hold in place. Sprinkle turkey with pepper and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Cover turkey loosely with aluminum foil.

4. Roast turkey 1 hour; remove foil from turkey and baste with some melted butter. Continue basting every 30 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through roasting time. If turkey becomes too brown, re-cover loosely with aluminum foil. Roast turkey 2-1/2 to 3 hours longer or until juices run clear and internal temperature reaches 160°F in thickest part of thigh, making sure thermometer doesn’t touch bone. Transfer turkey to platter or cutting board. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. (Internal temperature will rise 5° to 10°F upon standing 15 minutes.)

5. Meanwhile, remove rack from roasting pan. Place roasting pan with drippings across 2 burners over medium heat. With whisk, stir in flour; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly stir in remaining broth and heat to simmering, stirring to remove browned bits from bottom of pan. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until gravy thickens, stirring frequently. Makes about 4-1/2 cups.

Each serving: about 561 calories, 21 g total fat (9 g saturated), 298 mg cholesterol, 2353 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 77 g protein

Cook’s Wisdom

A brine is a mixture of salt, water and/or other liquid. For additional flavor, sugar, herbs or spices may be added. Brining is the process of soaking meats (or other foods) to tenderize, moisten and add flavor. This age-old technique was originally used to preserve meats before the use of refrigeration. Either a stainless steel stockpot or food approved plastic bucket is a suitable container; do not use aluminum.