Thanksgiving turkey never tasted so good! The brine boosts the juice and the maple ginger glaze creates a color and flavor sensation that may have guests begging for leftovers. And if you have to travel, you can brine your bird on the road! Brining in a cooler is a great way to prepare the turkey while traveling.
Prep time: 45-60 minutes (plus cooling time for brine and glaze)
Brining time: 24 hours
Roasting time: 3-4 1/2 hours, depending on turkey weight (plus 20-30 minutes resting time)
To make the brine: Combine ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to boil over high heat and then simmer until salt and sugar are dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
To brine the turkey: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey cavity. Place turkey in a large, clean vessel (an insulated cooler works well). Pour in cooled brine to completely cover the turkey--you may have to use a heavy plate or other weight to keep the bird submerged. Chill the turkey in its vessel in the refrigerator, or use ice packs in the insulated cooler to keep it cold, for 24 hours. After 24 hours, drain off the liquid, rinse the bird and pat it dry.
To make the glaze (can be done up to 2 days ahead): Heat butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic and cook 4-6 minutes. Add the remaining glaze ingredients. Increase heat and boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and pass the glaze through a fine-mesh strainer. Cool to room temperature. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until needed.
To roast turkey: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place bird in roasting pan breast side up. Spread the glaze all over the turkey. Cover wings and top of the turkey breast with foil to prevent excess browning. Roast the turkey, basting it occasionally, until an instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (but away from the bone) reaches 165 degrees. (This will take 3 to 4 1/4 hours, depending on the size of the turkey.). Remove turkey from oven and allow it to rest 20-30 minutes before carving.
I heard about brining the Thanksgiving turkey from a foodie friend who had tried it last year. His family raved about it and vowed never to prepare the bird without the brine. Brining is quite simple as it allows the turkey to retain its natural juices and amplifies the tender texture of the bird. Fresh Organic Valley Turkeys are already bursting with juicy flavor, yet infused with this brine, you too may take the vow!
Our Maple Ginger Glaze graces the succulent brined turkey with a sweet bronze glow. The glaze blended with the natural cooking juices makes a rich, flavorful gravy that will delight the senses. Simple, beautiful, scrumptous... take a picture, it will last longer!
Due to food safety issues, I do not stuff the bird with actual edible "stuffing" until it's throughly cooked. Before I place the turkey in the oven, I concoct a temporary stuffing made with the trimmings of the day, some seasonings and love. This time around I stuffed the turkey with 2 leftover oranges (from making the zest), 2 apples, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, garlic cloves, honey and a pinch of salt. Heaven.