Apple Cider-Ginger Brined Turkey
- For brine, in a large stockpot combine apple cider, ginger, salt, brown sugar, bay leaves, orange peel, peppercorns, and cloves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes; cool slightly. Stir in ice water. (If all of the ice water doesn't fit in the pot, add the remainder to turkey in the brining bag.)
- Remove neck and giblets from turkey; discard. Rinse turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey in a large brining or roasting bag set in a large bowl or plastic tub. Add enough brine to cover turkey; seal bag. Chill for 24 to 36 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove turkey from brine; discard brine. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Tuck drumstick ends under band of skin across tail, if available. If there is no band of skin, tie drumsticks securely to the tail using 100-percent cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under back.
- Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle. The thermometer should not touch bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil.
- Roast for 2-1/4 hours. Remove foil; cut band of skin or string between drumsticks so thighs will cook evenly. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes more or until the thermometer registers 175 degrees F. (The juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.) Remove from oven.
From the Test Kitchen
Fan of smoked meats? Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup all-natural liquid smoke concentrate to the brine for a smoke-flavor turkey without the hassle. Tired of turkey? Use this brine recipe for Cornish game hens or pork loin roast.
If you have a stockpot large enough to fit the bird that will also fit into the refrigerator, go ahead and use the pot instead of the brining bag.
To chop the ginger with ease, peel about a 4-inch piece of fresh ginger and cut into pieces. Place in a food processor, cover, and process with on/off turns until finely chopped.
For ice water, fill a glass measuring cup with ice, then add the water. Repeat as needed until you reach 12 cups total.
- In a medium saucepan bring apple cider to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until cider is reduced by half (2 cups). In a small bowl combine the water and cornstarch; stir into reduced cider. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in butter, ginger, and orange peel.
Nutrition Facts (Apple Cider-Ginger Brined Turkey)
- Per serving:
- 543 kcal cal.,
- 25 g fat
- (9 g sat. fat,
- 0 g polyunsaturated fat,
- 1 g monounsatured fat),
- 197 mg chol.,
- 1498 mg sodium,
- 14 g carb.,
- 0 g fiber,
- 12 g sugar,
- 56 g pro.
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet