Mama Nibbles: Butterball Brined Turkey Recipe

Butterball Brined Turkey Recipe

Thanksgiving wouldn't be special without my fave Butterball turkey.  I was sent a coupon for a free turkey to help facilitate my blog post.  All opinions are my own.

Today we baked up a beautiful 13 lb Butterball turkey.  My husband's side is having their Thanksgiving dinner early today.  My whole home smells spectacular!  My recipe that we have used every year is a tad pricey but it is well worth every penny because it makes such a delicious, juicy and unique tasting bird. 

My recipe is as follows for a 13-15 lb turkey.

* 1 gallon water
* 1/2 ounce ground cloves
* 1/2 ounce ground ginger
* 4 ounces cracked black peppercorns
* 12 bay leaves
* 1 pound kosher salt
* 24 ounces honey
* 24 ounces maple syrup (can substitute 1 cup packed dark brown sugar)
* optional: 1 cup dried cranberries

In a large stockpot, bring the water, cloves, ginger, black peppercorn, bay leaves and salt to a boil. Lower to a simmer and stir in the honey and maple syrup until well blended. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature and then cool all the way in refrigerator overnight. The next day dump the brine into a large cooler.

Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold tap water. Reserve the neck and specialty meats for pan gravy. Set the turkey in the brine, making sure that the turkey is fully immersed in the brine and then throw a bag of icecubes of icecubes on top. Place a weight on top of the turkey to make sure it is always covered with brine. Leave the cooler sitting outside overnight for 8-12 hours but don't let it sit for over 24 hours.

Turkey rub and stuffing:
* 1 stick butter, room temperature
* 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves (dried is fine too)
* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (dried is fine too)
* 2 apples, quartered and cored
* 1 onion, peeled and quartered
* 2 rosemary sprigs
* 3 sprigs sage
* Olive oil, for drizzling (sometimes I skip this and just rub butter all over)
* 1 cup cubed carrots
* 1 cup cubed celery
* 1 cup cubed onions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a shallow roasting pan, place the carrots, celery and onions. Remove turkey from brine.

Mix together the butter, garlic, chopped rosemary, and sage to make a compound butter. Using your hands, loosen to the skin from the breast by gently inserting your fingers between the skin and the flesh. Rub the compound butter underneath the skin. Insert the apples, onions, and whole rosemary and sage into the cavity of the turkey.

Place the turkey over the vegetables, breast-side up, in the roasting pan. Tuck the wings back and under the turkey. Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together. This will make a compact shape and will create a great presentation. Drizzle the turkey with olive oil and rub it into the skin. Roast the turkey to at least 165 degrees F in the breast, about 3 hours. If the skin gets too dark during roasting, tent with foil.

Transfer turkey to a platter and allow to cool. Meanwhile, prepare the pan gravy.

* 1/2 cup white wine
* 1/2 cup Madeira wine
* 4 cups turkey stock, recipe follows
* 1 sprig thyme
* 2 sprigs parsley
* Beurre manie (2 ounces butter mixed with 2 ounces flour until it forms a soft dough)
* Salt and pepper

Tilt the pan and skim as much fat as possible off the juice with a spoon. Set the pan on 2 burners set on medium heat. Deglaze roasting pan with white wine and Madeira. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits. Reduce until only a quarter remains. Add the turkey stock, thyme and parsley. Bring to a boil and strain into a saucepan. Bring back to a boil, skim and lower to a simmer. Whisk in the beurre manie until well incorporated and continue to cook until gravy has thickened. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Turkey Stock:
*Giblets and neck from 1 turkey
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1/2 cup port wine
*1 cup roughly chopped onions
*1/2 cup roughly chopped carrots
*1/2 cup roughly chopped celery
*2 sprigs rosemary
*5 peppercorns
*water cover

Heat a saucepan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and heat. Add the neck and giblets and cook until browned all over, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and deglaze with the port. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the port is almost completely evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Add the carrots, onions, celery, rosemary and peppercorns. Cover with cold water by 4-inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer for 2 hours, adding a little more water, if necessary. Skim any scum that rises to the surface of the stock and discard.

Strain the stock. Use immediately, or cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

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