Brined Turkey Roasted with Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Category: Main Dish
1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
11/2 cups sugar
4 ounces cracked black pepper
1 12- to 14-pound fresh turkey
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs rosemary
4 sage leafs
2 sprigs thyme
To prepare brine: Mix cold water, salt, sugar and pepper in a large stock pot. (large enough to fit a 12-14lb turkey and brine) until dissolved.
To prepare turkey: Remove contents in main and neck cavities, reserve for other uses if desired. Rinse turkey with cool water. Place bird in stock pot of brine and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
Remove from brine and rinse turkey, inside and out, with cool water and pat dry.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a rack in a roasting pan and coat with nonstick spray.
Place 2 sprigs of thyme and rosemary plus 4 leafs of sage into the main cavity.
Roast, uncovered and breast side up, 30 to 35 minutes; reduce heat to 325 degrees and cover with lid or aluminum foil. Cook about 2 to 3 hours more or until thermometer reads 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. Let rest at least 20 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead Gravy
Yield: 6-8 servings
• 4 cups chicken stock
• 1 onion, chopped
• ½ teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1/3 cup flour
• Salt to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• Drippings from turkey pan
In large saucepan, combine chicken broth, the onion, and chicken bouquet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until mixture is reduced to four cups, about 30-45 minutes.
When broth is almost reduced to the correct amount, in another heavy saucepan combine flour and butter. Cook and stir over low heat until flour begins to take on a bit of color and turns tan. Strain the chicken broth into the pan with the flour mixture, stirring with a wire whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour into containers, cover, and chill for up to 6 days.
When ready to eat, scrape some drippings and fat from the turkey pan into a saucepan and pour in the gravy. Heat until simmering. Taste the gravy. If it tastes flat, add more salt, a bit at a time, until the gravy tastes rich and meaty. Then stir in pepper and serve.