BRINED ROAST TURKEY
This is Alton Brown's recipe. The preparation is a little involved, but it makes a very tender, moist bird!
1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon iced water
For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down
in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn the turkey over once, half way through brining.
A few minutes before roasting, heat your oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Remove bird from the brine and rinse thoroughly, inside and out with cold water. Toss the brine, you're through with it.
Place the bird on roasting rack inside your roasting pan, or a wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add the steeped aromatics to the breast cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat the whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.
Roast your turkey on the lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.