Cider Brined, Herb Buttered Roasted Turkey – The Full Monty

So you want the full Monty, do you? This is every enhancement you can do to a turkey all in one place. Time to kick the Thanksgiving feast all the way up to the top.
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time3 hrs 15 mins
Total Time1 d 3 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 great turkey
Calories: 180kcal
Author: Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan

Ingredients

Herb butter

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1/4 oz oregano
  • 1/4 oz rosemary
  • 1/4 oz sage
  • 1/4 oz thyme

The Brine

  • 12-18 pound Turkey Not injected or previously brined
  • 2 qts apple cider or juice
  • 6 qts water
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon allspice
  • 6 slices ginger or 2 teaspoons powder
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 3 orange quartered

Day #2

  • 2 apples quartered
  • 1 onion large cut into 1/8 chunks
  • 2 carrots large cut into sticks
  • 2 stalks celery cut into sticks
  • 10 to 20 pieces thyme
  • 10 to 20 pieces sage
  • 1 lb butter
  • 1 bottle white wine

Instructions

  • Start with one pound unsalted butter at room temperature and 1/4 oz each of oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme
  • Prepare all the spices by chopping them. Mix with the butter.
  • Place in a 1-gallon zip lock, form into a log, seal and freeze overnight.
  • Combine 2 tablespoon of peppercorns and allspice and crush coarsely.
  • Combine 8 qts of liquid. 2 qts should be apple cider or juice along with 6 qts water, 1 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup sugar, the crushed peppercorn and allspice, 6 slices (or 2 teaspoons ginger powder) and 8 whole cloves. Boil for 10 minutes.
  • Allow liquid to cool completely
  • Clean and place turkey in brining container (I love big plastic bags, the Ziplocs are great)
  • Add three oranges, quartered and water/ice to cover the turkey. Seal and store in a cold location for 12-24 hours.
  • Day #2 Feast Day. Start with preheating oven to 425. Remove turkey from brine and rinse under running water.
  • Remove the herb butter from the freezer and cut into 1/2 inch slices with a large chef knife.
  • Make large “pockets” over the breast of your bird. Stuff the pockets with the herb butter. Use toothpicks to close the pockets.
  • Stuff the bird with two quartered apples and one large onion chopped into 1/8 chunks.
  • Tuck the tips of the wings under the bird. Place a couple of cut carrots and a couple of celery stalks cut up around the bird. Add some sage and thyme around and into the bird.
  • Smear the bird with about one stick of butter.
  • Combine 3/4 pound of butter with one bottle of sweeter white wine in a pan. Heat until butter is melted.
  • Use a piece of cheesecloth that is big enough to cover the bird. Soak in the wine butter mixture.
  • Cover the bird with the cheesecloth. Place bird in the oven.
  • After 30 minutes. Baste the cheesecloth with more of the wine/butter solution. TURN OVEN DOWN TO 350.
  • Continue to baste every 30 minutes until internal temp of the breast is 140 (about 2 1/2 hour depending on bird size). Remove cover and continue to cook (with basting every 30 minutes or so) until internal temp of 165 in the breast and 180 in the thigh.
  • Remove from oven and place on cutting board and tent with foil for 20- 30 minutes.

Notes

Pro Tips:

  1. Never brine a turkey that has been injected with things. It is always a salt containing solution so it will be double salted. You will have a cowlick and no eatable turkey.
  2. Turkey, like any poultry, should be considered contaminated with bacteria and rinsing is a problem that can contaminate your cooking area. The salt from the brine does need to be rinsed off but let's be extra careful with food safety.
  3. For more food safety tips see https://www.101cookingfortwo.com/thanksgiving-food-safety-and-food-help/
  4. I can not even come close to nutrition information on this. I have published an estimate for calories only for 1/4 pound serving of white meat with some added fat for the butter that is mostly in the bottom of the pan. No guess on sodium.
  5. A meat thermometer is "required" to get this right. Always cook to a final temperature and never by time alone.
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Nutrition

Serving: 115g | Calories: 180kcal