Brining Container: Large Brining Bag, Large Tupperware Container - something to keep your turkey fully submerged in liquid.
Twine or strong string
Apple Cider Brining Solution
1> 15 lbTurkey or Turkey Breast
12cups Water - divided
4cupsUnfiltered Apple Cider (you can use filtered if needed)
2Oranges - cut in large slices
Roasting the Turkey
1>15 lbTurkey - Brined see above
1Onion - cut in quarters
1Celery Stalk - cut into large chunks
½Lemon - cut in quarters
½Orange - cut in quarters
1handfulFresh Sage Leaves
¼cupButter - cut into 6 TBSP cubes and 1 2-TBSP cube
Apple Cider Brine
Clean out the turkey, remove the neck, and packet of giblets. Set aside.
In a large pot, add 8 cups of water, 4 cups of apple cider, salt and all of the ingredients seasonings (bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, peppercorns, and oranges).
Bring up to a boil until all of the salt is dissolved. Turn down to a simmer for 5 minutes.Take off it off the heat and let it cool down, add the rest of the 8 cups of cold water.
Once the brining liquid is lukewarm or colder it’s ready. In your brining bag or large container, put in your turkey breast side down and pour the brining solution over the turkey. The turkey should be fully submerged in the liquid.It's okay if the back bone is out of the brine.
Place your turkey bag on a sheet pan with parchment paper or a towel. Store the turkey in the brining solution on the lowest level-shelf in your refrigerator (should your bag leak you don’t want it to drip onto anything else). Let it brine for at least 12 hours, no longer than 48 hours. See Roasting Instructions Below.
Roasting your Apple Cider Brined Turkey
Take your turkey out of the brine, rinse off and pat dry, let it come up to room temperature or at least get the chill off of it - about 30 minutes. You can continue with the prep steps during the 30 minutes so that you can save on time.
Preheat your oven to 450F.
Prepare your ingredients – have ready your all of your aromatics (onion, celery, lemon, orange, herbs) Divide your butter up, 1 TBSP and then 6 squares, 1/2 TBSP each.
Prepare to truss your bird. Tuck the wings behind the shoulder of the bird, similar to if you were putting your hands behind your head to do a sit up. Then take a twine, or a large string and place the center of it underneath the turkey so that it lays across the shoulders.
Stuff the cavity of the bird with your aromatics (onion, celery, lemon, orange, herbs)
Truss the turkey. Pull your twine or string up and over the wings pulling it tight so that the wings stay close the body of the bird, but not too tight to pierce the skin. Pull the twine/string across the bird so that it falls between the thigh and the breast, tightly tie around the ankles of the bird. Be careful not to break the skin.
Place your turkey on your roasting rack and in your roasting pan.
Slowly and carefully pull the skin away from the meat of the breasts and stuff each side with 2 squares of the butter.
Then near the same hole, you will do the same for the thighs, but only put in 1 square per leg.
The bird should have all 6 squares of butter underneath the skin, then with the remainder of the butter, you will want to spread it over the top of the skin. This will help create a delicious crispy beautiful brown color.
Roast at 450F for 15 minutes. This will help jump start the browning process.After 15 minutes, drop the temperature to 325F.
Roast for 2 hours at 325F, without doing anything to it - just let it go.
After 2 hours, baste with a baster, large spoon or I have even found it super easy to lift the roasting rack out of the pan, pour the pan juices in a measuring cup, once you put the roasting rack back on the pan, pour the juices from the measuring cup onto the turkey.
Place a foil cover over the breasts to keep them from getting too brown.
Put the bird back in the oven for another hour (total roasting time should be 3 hours and 15 minutes for a 12lb turkey). Before you pull it out TAKE HIS TEMPERATURE.Put a meat thermometer in the deepest part of the breast meat without going through into the cavity, and again in the thigh, making sure not to hit the bone, both checks should be at least 165F. Do not skip this step, even if you have a turkey with a "pop-up when done", I suggest to still use meat thermometer to check.
Cozy Apple Cider Turkey (Brine & Roasting Recipe) https://nicolestastingspoon.com/2020/11/16/cozy-apple-cider-turkey/