My husband suggested I repost the recipes that I made for Thanksgiving last year. This post has had a major spike in popularity This is the turkey we’re having this year – it’s so worth the effort and ingredient list! I’m also making the brioche and sausage dressing because it was amazing, and again well worth the effort and wait. I hope you all have a Thanksgiving full of family, friends and great food! Thanks for reading, enjoy
Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy - adapted from Anne Burrell
- 7 quarts water
- 1 quart apple cider
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large or 2 small carrots, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 1 head garlic, cut in 1/2 equatorially
- 1/2 bunch fresh rosemary
- 1/2 bunch fresh sage
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 (12 to 14 pound) turkey
Herb Crust -
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
- 1 bunch fresh sage, leaves finely chopped
- 3 sticks butter, room temperature
- Kosher salt
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 5 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bunch thyme
- Kosher salt
- 1 quart chicken stock, divided
- 2 cups apple cider, divided
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Special equipment: butcher’s twine
To brine the turkey: Combine all of the ingredients for the brine in a large container. Add the turkey and let it brine in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
To prepare the turkey for cooking: Remove the turkey from the brine the night before roasting and pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels. Combine the rosemary, sage, and butter for the herb crust in a small bowl. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Work the butter under the skin of the turkey and massage it into the breasts and the legs. Massage the bitter on the outside of the skin as well. Tie the legs together over the breast so they will protect it during cooking and help keep it moist and juicy.
Gravy preparation: Put the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, apples, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and thyme in a roasting pan and season with salt. Arrange the turkey on top of the veggies and refrigerate overnight UNCOVERED! Yes, that’s right, uncovered. This will help the skin dry out and become really brown and crispy. Make sure that there is no raw food near the turkey in the refrigerator. After refrigerating overnight, the turkey is ready to go in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Put 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup apple cider in the bottom of the roasting pan. Roast the turkey in the preheated oven until the skin gets really nice and brown, about 40 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees F for the remainder of the cooking time. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes or so and add more stock to the roasting pan, if needed. Cook about 17 minutes per pound. Once it gets to the proper color, tent the turkey with aluminum foil to prevent it from getting too dark.
Remove the turkey from the oven when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the turkey registers 160 degrees F. Make sure that the thermometer is not touching a bone when doing the reading. When the turkey has reached the proper temperature, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Strain all the veggies over a bowl to separate them from the stock/mixture. Discard the veggies. Skim off the fat and add it to the roasting pan. This is the fat for the roux. Put the roasting pan over 2 burners and over a low heat and whisk in the flour. Cook until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1 cup apple cider, remaining chicken stock and the stock/cider mixture. Cook until the mixture has thickened and reached a gravy consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into a serving pitcher or bowl.
Carve the turkey, transfer to a serving platter and serve with the gravy.
Cook’s Note: Don’t fight over the drumsticks.
Give thanks for such a great turkey!!!
*Basic Brioche – The Bread Bible
Dough Starter -
- 2 TBSP room temperature water
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
- 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
*Make the starter one to two days ahead. In a mixing bowl, add ingredients and mix until very smooth. Cover with plastic wrap.
Flour Mixture -
- 5.5 ounces all-purpose flour
- 2 TBSP sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 8 TBSP room temperature butter
1. Combine first four ingredients and pour on top of the starter, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
2. Using a standing mixer, add eggs and mix on low speed for about a minute until evenly moistened. Raise speed to medium and beat for two minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with an oiled rubber scraper, then continue beating for five minutes longer or until the dough is smooth and shiny but very soft and sticky. It wont pull away from the bowl completely.
3. Add the butter one TBSP at a time until all incorporated. The dough will be soft and sticky. Lightly oil top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
4. Chill – refrigerate for one hour, then gently deflate with rubber spatula, then return it to the refrigerator for another hour.
5. Deflate/Chill – turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Press or roll into a rectangle, flour as needed. Give the dough a business letter turn, brushing off excess flour. Rotate 90 degrees so the closed side faces left. Make a second business turn and round the corners. Dust it lightly on all sides with flour. Wrap loosely but securely with plastic wrap and place in a large ziploc bag. Refrigerate of at least six hours and up to two days.
6. Shape/Rise – remove from fridge and gently press down to deflate. Roll/press into a 7 1/2″ by 5″ wide rectangle. Roll down from top in three turns, being sure to brush off the excess flour. Place seam side down in a prepared 8×4 inch loaf pan pressing down firmly. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan – about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack on the lowest position of the oven and place a baking stone or a baking sheet on the rack.
8. Glaze/Slash/Bake – glaze the top of the loaf with a mixture of one egg yolk and a splash of cream or milk. Slash the top of the loaf 1/4″ to 1/2″ deep lengthwise down the loaf, making sure to leave 1″ at each end. Set on hot stone and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees.
9. Cool – un-mold loaf to cool on a wire rack at least two hours before cutting.
*Sausage Brioche Dressing – adapted from Food Network
- 1 brioche loaf, cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound pork breakfast sausage
- 4 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and cross cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 4 cups stock
- 1/4 cup chopped sage leaves
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread the brioche on a baking sheet and put it in the oven until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the sausage and break it into pieces with a spoon. Cook until browned, then transfer it to the bowl with the brioche. Add the celery to the sausage drippingsand cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Put the sausage into the brioche bowl. Stir in the stock and sage and mix until the brioche absorbs most of the liquid. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the dressing to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and cook, uncovered for 20 minutes. Cover with foil and bake until golden brown on top, another 20 to 25 minutes.