Apple Cider Brined Turkey

Standard

Ive made turkey this way many times.. Its fantastic.. It takes more advance planning than a normal turkey but its worth it..
this makes enough for a 12-15 lb tukey but the proportions can easily be doubled.

1 1/2 gallons apple cider.
1 1/2 cups kosher salt. (dont substitute plain table salt)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
10 whole cloves
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 Tbsp dried sage
1 orange peel

combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. stir so the sugar and salt dissolve.  simmer partially covered for 15 minutes. remove from heat and cool completely

Brining the turkey.
i use a large oven bag.. i place the turkey in the bag and pour the cooled brine into the bag. I tie the top and place in either a large pot or a cooler.. i place a weight on the turkey so its submerged.. this is the key.. the entire turkey must be in the brine. then I place in the refrigerator if it wiil fit. if it wont I place it in a cooler and surround with ice. the turkey must be kept under 40 degrees..
let the turkey sit in the brine for 12-24 hours

roasting the turkey.
1 hour before cooking remove from the brine and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour. pat the bird dry with a paper towel.
brinining a turkey reduces the cooking time. a turkey will take about 12-14 minutes/pound if roasted at 325.  a 12 lb turkey should take 2.5-3 hours you will have to watch it closely for the first hour as the turkey will brown quickly. when you think its browned enough cover it with foil. after the first hour baste with pan juices every hour until done. the turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh reads about 175 degrees.
remove from the oven and let sit 30 minutes before carving

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