Citrus-Scented Brined Turkey
- 11 garlic cloves, peeled
- 6 cups unsweetened apple juice
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh gingerroot
- 4 bay leaves
- 6 cups cold water
- 1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds)
- 1 medium lemon, cut into wedges
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Mince five garlic cloves; halve the remaining garlic cloves and set aside. In a large kettle, combine the apple juice, salt, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, bay leaves and minced garlic. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add cold water to cool the brine to room temperature.
Remove giblets from turkey; discard. Place a turkey-size oven roasting bag inside a second roasting bag; add turkey. Carefully pour cooled brine into bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Seal bags; 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 lemon, orange, onion, thyme and reserved garlic in both cavities. Rub oil over skin. Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together.
Place turkey, breast side-up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 4 to 4 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 180 degrees (cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly). Let stand for 15 minutes before removing contents from cavities and carving the turkey.
Editors Note: This recipe was tested with Morton brand kosher salt. It is best not to use a pre-basted turkey for this recipe.