Juicy, tender and aromatic
1 8-12 lb. fresh turkey
Brine (See recipe below)
1 orange, cubed
1 Fuji apple, cubed
1 stalk celery, sliced crosswise in½-inch pieces
1 cube butter (¼ lb.)
3 C turkey or chicken broth
2 cans turkey gravy
2 T Kitchen Bouquet or worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T cornstarch, dissolved in ½ cup water
Remove and discard the turkey neck and giblets, and wash the turkey in cold water. Place in a large pot and cover completely with the brine. Refrigerate overnight.
Plan on 15-20 minutes per pound to cook the turkey, and add 20 minutes of resting time before carving to calculate your start time.
Slice the cube of butter into 12 pats. Prepare one large and one small bouquet garni from the fruits, celery, butter (4 pats for the large bouquet, 2 for the small), and sprigs of fresh thyme. Reserve 6-8 large thyme leaves.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the brine. Discard the brine. Wash the turkey in cold water and pat dry.
Gently separate the skin from the breast. Insert the remaining pats of butter and the reserved thyme leaves evenly between the skin and the breast.
Insert the bouquets garni into the cavities. Pin the small, front cavity shut and bind the legs together to close off the large cavity.
Place the turkey breast down on a V-rack in a roasting pan. Pour stock into the roasting pan and place it in the oven. Set the timer for two-thirds of the anticipated cooking time. Baste the turkey every 15-20 minutes.
After turkey has cooked for two-thirds of the cooking time, check to see if the skin on the back is golden brown. If it is, gently turn the turkey over and replace it on the rack with the breast facing up. If you are using a temperature probe now would be the time to insert it in the breast. Return to the oven and resume basting every 15-20 minutes.
Cook for the remaining time, until the internal temperature is approximately 170 degrees F and the skin is a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 20 minutes before carving.
In a sauce pan, heat turkey gravy over medium-high heat. Add up to 1 Cup of stock remaining in the roasting pan, the Kitchen Bouquet or worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add dissolved cornstarch. Stir well, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low.
Remove the bouquets garni from the turkey, carve, then serve with the gravy.
(Feel free to make your gravy from scratch. Eliminate the cornstarch and start instead with a golden roux and use all the stock remaining in the roasting pan.)
2 gallons cold water
2 cups bourbon
2 cups coarse salt
1 cup sugar