Butterflied Juniper-Brined Roasted Turkey with Chipotle-Maple Butter

This juicy turkey is slathered with a sweet-and-spicy butter and roasted to a golden brown.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 12 hr 20 min (includes brining and resting times)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 8-10
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Ingredients

Turkey and Brine:

2 cups kosher salt

1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons juniper berries

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

5 bay leaves

Zest of 1 lemon

One 14- to 16-pound turkey (not kosher or self-basting), butterflied

Chipotle-Maple Compound Butter:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 chipotle peppers in adobo, peppers only, reserving the sauce for another use

1 clove garlic

Kosher salt

Directions

  1. Combine the salt, brown sugar, juniper, peppercorns, bay leaves and lemon zest with 1 quart (4 cups) water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. Pour the brine into a plastic container or pot large enough to hold the turkey, add 5 quarts (20 cups) ice water and stir to combine. Submerge the turkey, adding more ice water if needed. Weight the turkey down with a plate to keep it submerged and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.
  2. Drain, rinse and pat the turkey dry. Transfer to a large paper-towel-lined cutting board and let sit out at room temperature until it reaches room temperature, about 1 hour.

For the compound butter: 

  1. Put the butter, maple syrup, chipotles, garlic and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined.
  2. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Pat the turkey skin dry again and rub the compound butter evenly over the surface, also pushing some underneath the skin of the breasts. Lay the turkey in a large roasting pan as flat as possible. If the pan is a bit small, tuck the wings behind the back with the drumsticks resting on the ledge of the pan and place a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil at the bottom of the oven to catch drippings.
  4. Roast, basting the turkey with the pan drippings every 30 minutes or so, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165 degrees F, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 30 minutes before serving.