This Crushed Ice Catering Recipe of the Month is sure to wow your Thanksgiving Day Guests!
Holiday Turkey Brine
1 Frozen or Fresh Young Turkey (14-16 lbs)
For the Brine
- 1 1/4 Cup Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Cups Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Gallon Vegetable Stock
- 1 Tbsp Black Peppercorns
- 2 Tsp Allspice Berries
- 1 Tbsp Chopped Candied or Fresh Ginger
- 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 2 Each Star Anise
- 1 Gallon Heavily Iced Water
For the Aromatics
- 2 Red Apples, Sliced
- 1/2 Onion, Sliced
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 4 Sprigs Rosemary
- 6 Sage Leaves
- 1 Cup Water
- Canola Oil
2-3 Days Before Roasting
- Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
- Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to temperature, and refrigerate.
Evening Before Roasting
- Combine the brine, water, and ice in a 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed), breast side down, in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed. Cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once halfway through brining.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine, and rise inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
- Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird, and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.
- Roast the turkey on the lowest level on the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14-16 lb bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil for 15 minutes before carving.