Roasted Cider-Brined Turkey with Madeira Gravy

For the Brining:

Ingredients

1 15- to 16-pound fresh turkey (preferably a heritage-breed bird)
1-1/2 gallons sweet apple cider
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup kosher or sea salt
1 medium-size onion, sliced
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
6 bay leaves
10 whole cloves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 quart ice water

Instructions

Rinse turkey thoroughly under cold water. Trim excess fat and discard. Set aside.

In a large pot (at least 8 quarts) over high heat, stir together cider, vinegar, and brine seasonings. Warm brine until sugar and salt dissolve, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add 1 quart ice water, and cool to room temperature.

If your pot is large enough (and your refrigerator can accommodate it), put turkey in brine and refrigerate 12-24 hours. Otherwise, double-bag two plastic roasting bags and set them, openings up, into your roasting pan. Add turkey and pour brine in carefully. Close bags securely with tight knots or twist ties, and transfer pan to refrigerator for 12-24 hours, turning the turkey once during that time to make sure all parts are properly brined. When you're ready to roast, remove bird from brine and pat dry. Discard brine.

For the Roasting:

Sausage-Currant Brioche Dressing

Yield: 

12 servings, with leftovers

Category

Course

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