- 1 (14 to 16 pound) turkey, gizzards and neck removed
- 6 quarts water
- 1 bunch sage
- 1 bunch thyme
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
- 1 tablespoon dry rubbed sage
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 bunch thyme
- 1/2 bunch sage
- 1 rosemary stalk
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 red onion, quartered
- 1 cup turkey broth, plus extra if needed
- Quick Pan Gravy, recipe follows
Brine: In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the water, sage, thyme, lemon, salt, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the salt is dissolved, and the water is fragrant. Turn off the heat and let the brine cool. Put the turkey in a roasting bag, a large plastic bag, or a bowl large enough to fit it with space for the brine. Pour in the brining liquid and seal or cover. If there is not enough room for all of the liquid in the brine, be sure to at least include the herbs, lemon and peppercorns. Refrigerate the turkey for up to 3 days. When ready to cook, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and discard all of brining liquid and solids. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
In a small bowl, mix the marjoram, sage, all the peppers, and salt to make the rub. Rub on all sides of the turkey, and drizzle with oil. Stuff the thyme, sage, and rosemary into the cavity, along with 4 of the garlic cloves, and 1 of the red onion quarters. Allow it to sit on the countertop for about 2 hours to come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the remaining 2 garlic cloves, red onion quarters, and broth in the bottom of a roasting pan. Put the turkey on a rack in the roasting pan. Tuck the wing tips under and tie the legs together with butcher's twine.
Put the turkey in the oven and lower the heat to 350 degrees F. Roast, basting every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted between the thigh and the body registers 160 degrees F, about 2 to 3 hours. Add more broth to the bottom of the pan so the drippings do not burn. Allow the turkey to rest under loosely tented aluminum foil for about 10 minutes. Remove the turkey from the pan to a cutting board. Arrange the carved turkey on a serving platter and serve with Quick Pan Gravy.
Quick Pan Gravy:
- Pan drippings
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 cups turkey broth
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the roasting pan on the stove top. Remove any large solids, like onions or stalks of rosemary, leaving only the pan drippings, softened garlic cloves, juices and fat. Turn the burner to medium-high heat and add the wine. Using a wooden spoon scrape up all bits from the bottom of the roasting pan. In a small bowl, mix together the flour and butter. Add it to the pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, while stirring. Cook for about 1 minute, and then whisk in the turkey broth and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and pour it into a serving bowl.