Our relatives request this turkey every Thanksgiving and I hate to disappoint them. Brining the turkey keeps the meat moist while roasting gives it incredible flavor.—Jeff Locke, Arma, Kansas
- 2 quarts apple cider or juice
- 1-1/2 cups kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons whole peppercorns
- 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Juniper berries, optional
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 6 bottles (12 ounces each) dark beer, chilled
- 6 cups cold water
- 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
- 2 turkey-size oven roasting bags
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon rotisserie chicken seasoning
- 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage leaves
- In a large kettle, combine the first eight ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add cold beer and water to cool the marinade to room temperature.
- Remove giblets from turkey; cover and refrigerate for gravy. Place a turkey-size oven roasting bag inside a second roasting bag; add turkey. Carefully pour cooled marinade into bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible; seal bags and turn to coat. Place in a roasting pan. Refrigerate for 18-24 hours, turning several times.
- Drain and discard brine. Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry. Place the onion, carrots, celery and garlic in both cavities. Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together. In a small bowl, combine the broth, butter and chicken seasoning.
- Place turkey breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 180°, basting occasionally with broth mixture. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.) Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before carving; discard vegetables or save for another use.
- For gravy, add 1 cup broth to the pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Skim and discard fat, reserving 1-1/2 cups pan drippings; pour into a small saucepan.
- Chop giblets. In a large saucepan, cook giblets in oil and butter until browned. Add 1-1/4 cup pan drippings; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Combine flour and remaining drippings until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Add the wine, sage and remaining chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Serve with turkey. Yield: 14-16 servings.
Originally published as Beer-Brined Turkey with Giblet Gravy in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2009, p118
Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
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