Cider-Brined Turkey with Maple-Cider Glaze
- Turkey Brine:
- 8 cups good-quality apple cider
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons peppercorns
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 oranges, sliced
- 2 large shallots or medium onions, quartered
- A handful fresh parsley leaves
- A handful fresh sage leaves
- A handful fresh thyme sprigs
- 4 bone-in skin-on turkey leg/thigh quarters
- 2 bone-in skin-on turkey breasts, about 6 to 7 pounds each
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup good-quality apple cider
- 1 cup turkey stock
- 2/3 cup dark amber maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- A couple strips orange rind
For the turkey brine: Heat the apple cider, brown sugar, salt, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, oranges, shallots, parsley, sage and thyme in a saucepot to dissolve the sugar and salt. Then let the mixture cool completely.
Divide the turkey pieces between two 2 1/2-gallon resealable plastic bags or containers big enough to hold them. Add equal parts of the brine to the two bags. Let rest for several hours in the fridge, preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. Rub the skin with oil and sprinkle with pepper. Set the turkey on a metal rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet and cook about 15 minutes per pound, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers about 165 degrees F. The temperature will go up 5 to 10 degrees as it rests.
For the glaze: Place a small saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the apple cider, turkey stock, maple syrup, butter, peppercorns and orange rind. Bring the mixture to a light simmer and reduce by half. Baste the turkey every now and then during the last half of the cooking time.
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