Cider-Brined Turkey Recipe
My family had been going through some rough times, and when we were finally able to get together for Thanksgiving one year, I made this turkey. It brings back such good memories of joyful family gatherings. —Nicole Keller, Waterford, Pennsylvania
- 1 gallon apple cider or juice
- 1-3/4 cups kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed juniper berries
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 bottles (12 ounces each) dark beer, chilled
- 6 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth, chilled
- 2 turkey-size oven roasting bags
- 1 turkey (18 to 20 pounds)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a stockpot, combine the first 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add cold beer and broth to cool the brine to room temperature.
- Place one turkey-size oven roasting bag inside the other. Place turkey inside both bags; pour in cooled brine. Seal bags, pressing out as much air as possible; turn to coat turkey. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Refrigerate for 18-24 hours, turning occasionally.
- Remove turkey from brine; rinse and pat dry. Discard brine. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thigh reads 180°, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before carving. Yield: 18 servings.
Originally published as Cider-Brined Turkey in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2013, p98
Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied white wine such as Riesling or Gewürtztraminer
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