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Brined Turkey with Lemon Thyme & Toasted Garlic Gravy

Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes (plus brining)
Hands Time: 1 hour

16-to-18-pound turkey, rinsed and giblets removed
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
5 bay leaves
1/4 cup black peppercorns
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
10 cloves garlic, smashed
Olive oil

2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
5 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 bunch thyme
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
2 cups turkey or chicken stock

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic 
1 tablespoon finely minced lemon thyme 

1.Brine the turkey: Place the turkey in a 5-gallon bucket. Add the salt, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, parsley and garlic. Add enough water to cover the turkey completely. Refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
2.Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the brine. (Discard the brine mixture.) Rinse the turkey well and pat dry. Rub lightly with some oil. Season lightly with pepper.
3.Make the stuffing: In a large bowl, combine the onions, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme and parsley. Fill the turkey cavity with the stuffing.
4.Place the turkey in a roasting pan on a rack. Add the stock to the pan and roast uncovered for about 2 hours, until the turkey begins to brown. Then baste with the drippings every 15 to 20 minutes. Roast until the thigh at its thickest part reads 170 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil.
5.Make the gravy: Strain the pan juices and discard the solids. Pour the juices into a gravy separator and discard the fat. Measure the juices. For every 1 cup of pan juices, you will need 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon flour. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the degreased pan juices and cook at a low simmer for 30 minutes.
6.Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the oil and garlic and stir well. Cook over medium heat until a deep golden color, about 3 minutes. Scrape into a small bowl and set aside.
7.When the gravy has finished simmering, stir in the toasted garlic and lemon thyme and transfer to a small pitcher or gravy boat.

Makes 16 servings.

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