When the leaves start turning color, it’s turkey time at our house. We use maple-sage brine to help brown the bird and make the meat incredibly juicy. —Kim Forni, Laconia, New Hampshire
- 4 quarts water
- 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup sea salt
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 24 fresh sage leaves
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons coarsely ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 quarts ice water
- 2 turkey-size oven roasting bags
- 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
- In a large stockpot, combine first 10 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cook and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat. Add 4 quarts ice water to cool the brine to room temperature.
- Put one turkey-sized oven roasting bag inside the other; place in a large stockpot. Place turkey inside both bags; pour in cooled brine. Seal bags, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate 18-24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Remove turkey from brine; rinse and pat dry. Discard brine. Place turkey on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together. Rub oil over outside of turkey; sprinkle with pepper and, if desired, salt.
- Roast, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°, 2-1/2 to 3 hours. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.)
- Remove turkey from oven; tent with foil. Let stand 20 minutes before carving. Yield: 20 servings.
Originally published as Maple-Sage Brined Turkey in Taste of Home November 2016, p56
Medium-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied white wine such as Riesling or Gewürtztraminer
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