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Citrus and Brown Sugar Turkey

I have had a few friends ask me for my turkey directions this year, so I figured I would share them with you! The brine from this recipe and the turkey cooking directions are from Alton Brown on The Food Network, the rub is mine own. It is not an exact recipe, use your own judgement. The first time that I read the temperatures of Mr. Brown's recipe, I thought he must be crazy, but honeslty, it produced a BEATIFUL dark brown color on the the breast of the bird and the first time, and every time after, my turkey looked like it came out of a magazine! (and the rub and brine kept it from tasting like one!)

Citrus & Brown Sugar Turkey

For the Brine:

2 cup kosher salt

1 cup light brown sugar

2 gallon vegetable stock

3 tablespoon black peppercorns

4 teaspoons allspice berries

3 teaspoons chopped candied ginger

2 gallon heavily iced water

For the Herb Butter (double for 22-26 lb bird)

Butter (about 1 lb)

Garlic, Minced (2-3 cloves)

Brown Sugar (I use 1.5 cups dark brown)

Orange Zest and Juice (I use about 3 oranges to zest and juice from 1)

Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped, about ½ to ¾ cup

Fresh Rosemary, chopped, just a little bit (1-2 tbsp)

Jessica's Turkey Directions

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early in the day or the night before you'd like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Place a thick layer of the herbed butter in between the skin and the meat of the bird. Get into as many sections as you can, including the drumsticks. Pour a combination of apple juice and white wine in the bottom of the pan.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover only the breast portion of the bird with a foil triangle. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the bird (behind the thigh) and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Place the turkey back in the oven and set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.