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Beer-Brined Turkey with Giblet Gravy

Total Time

Prep: 70 min. + marinating Bake: 3-1/2 hours + standing

Makes

14-16 servings

Our relatives request this turkey every Thanksgiving and I hate to disappoint them. Brining the turkey keeps the meat moist while roasting gives it incredible flavor.—Jeff Locke, Arma, Kansas

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts apple cider or juice
  • 1-1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Juniper berries, optional
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 6 bottles (12 ounces each) dark beer, chilled
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
  • 2 turkey-size oven roasting bags
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon rotisserie chicken seasoning
  • GRAVY:
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage leaves

Directions

  1. In a large kettle, combine the first eight ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add cold beer and water to cool the marinade to room temperature.
  2. Remove giblets from turkey; cover and refrigerate for gravy. Place a turkey-size oven roasting bag inside a second roasting bag; add turkey. Carefully pour cooled marinade into bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible; seal bags and turn to coat. Place in a roasting pan. Refrigerate for 18-24 hours, turning several times.
  3. Drain and discard brine. Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry. Place the onion, carrots, celery and garlic in both cavities. Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together. In a small bowl, combine the broth, butter and chicken seasoning.
  4. Place turkey breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until a thermometer reads 180°, basting occasionally with broth mixture. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.) Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before carving; discard vegetables or save for another use.
  5. For gravy, add 1 cup broth to the pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Skim and discard fat, reserving 1-1/2 cups pan drippings; pour into a small saucepan.
  6. Chop giblets. In a large saucepan, cook giblets in oil and butter until browned. Add 1-1/4 cup pan drippings; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Combine flour and remaining drippings until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  7. Add the wine, sage and remaining chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Serve with turkey.
Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested with Morton kosher salt and McCormick rotisserie chicken seasoning. It is best not to use a prebasted turkey for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts

9 ounces cooked turkey with about 1/4 cup gravy: 560 calories, 29g fat (11g saturated fat), 274mg cholesterol, 547mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 67g protein.

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