Citrus Herb Brined Roast Turkey with White Wine Pan Gravy
Brining your turkey infuses the meat with moisture and aromatics. The salt and acid in the brine will tenderize the meat while preventing the white meat from drying out, while the dark meat (especially the thigh) fully cooks. Brined turkeys can cook faster than unseasoned, so check your bird about every 20-30 minutes after the 3hr mark for doneness, which is (82°C)180°F at the thickest part of the thigh.
- 1 cup of kosher or sea salt (don’t use iodized salt)
- ½ cup of white sugar
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 2 tsp of dry)
- 4 bay leaves
- 10 peppercorns
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 12 cups of non-chlorinated (spring or filtered) water
- 1 5-7kg (11-15 lb) whole turkey
- 1 onion
- 1 orange
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dry)
- 2 sage leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (or 2 tsp dry)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 TBSP of unsalted grass fed organic butter
- 1 brined whole turkey
- 1 cup white wine
- Neck and giblets
- 2 TBSP flour
- 500 ml truLOCAL Chicken Bone Broth
- Black pepper to taste
- Pan drippings
- Veg and herbs from the roast turkey cavity
- Thaw your turkey in its package in a drip-proof container 2-3 days in the fridge prior to brining.
- You’ll need a large stock pot for brining your turkey and enough space in the fridge. We do not recommend using a cooler, as it's difficult to maintain safe temperatures of less than 4°C.
- Slice the citrus into 8 segments, roughly chop the onion and smash the garlic cloves with the heel of your knife.
- To a large saucepan, add 4 cups of water, salt, sugar, chopped citrus, chopped onion, smashed garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
- Bring the mixture up to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add the remaining 8 cups of cold water, then transfer the brine to the fridge and cool it down to less than 4°C.
- Prepare the turkey by removing it from the bag. Take the neck out of the body cavity, and the giblet bag out of the neck cavity. Reserve for the gravy.
- Place the turkey, legs up into the large stock pot.
- Once the brine has cooled, pour it over the turkey, so that the majority of the meat is immersed in liquid. Transfer the stock pot with turkey and brine into the fridge, and let the turkey brine for at least 6 hours, and up to 24 hours
Roast Turkey Instructions:
- Preheat your oven to (163°C) 325°F.
- Remove the turkey from the stock pot, and discard the brine.
- Pat the bird dry and place it in a shallow roasting pan, on top of a stainless steel metal rack to elevate the bird up off the bottom of the pan for more even cooking.
- Wash and roughly chop the carrot, celery, onion and orange. Keep the peel on the carrot, and the leaves on the celery. Stuff the bird with the parsley, sage leaves, rosemary sprig, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, carrot, onion, celery and orange.
- Soften the butter and rub it onto the skin of the entire bird.
- Tie or secure the wing tips and legs so they don’t overcook.
- Transfer the bird to the middle rack in the (163°C) 325°F oven and roast for 2.5-4 hrs or until done, rotate the pan halfway through cooking, 180 degrees, to ensure even browning on both sides of the bird.
- The turkey is cooked once a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (near but not touching the bone) reaches 82°C
- When you check the bird's temperature, also baste it with some of the turkey and butter drippings. If the bottom of the pan dries out, add a ½ cup of water or stick to prevent burning, you want the pan drippings to be a golden brown, not black.
- Once your turkey is cooked, remove the herbs and veggies from the cavity. These will be used to flavour the pan gravy. Transfer the cooked turkey to a serving tray, and cover it with foil. Let it rest for 20 minutes while you make the pan gravy.
White Wine Pan Gravy Instructions:
- Transfer the neck and giblets and the veggies and herbs from the roast turkey cavity to a medium stock pot and add the truLOCAL Chicken Bone Broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, then strain.
- While the stock is simmering, deglaze the turkey roasting pan with the white wine, by placing the roasting pan on a hot stove element. Use a whisk to scrape up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. This adds flavour and golden brown colour to your gravy.
- Pour the deglazed pan drippings into a glass bowl or large measuring cup and transfer it to the fridge so the fat separates from the broth.
- To a clean saucepan on medium-high heat, pour the fat off the top of the pan drippings, and add two tablespoons of flour to make a roux. Cook this mixture while stirring for a few minutes until it forms a paste.
- Slowly ladle the strained stock into the roux, and whisk until smooth.
- Slowly bring your gravy up to a gentle simmer and taste it. Add salt and pepper if needed.
- If the gravy is too thin, simmer it for a few minutes to thicken it before serving.