Recipe: makes 14 to 16 servings
- 1 19- to 20-pound turkey; neck, heart and gizzard reserved for gravy
- 8 quarts water
- 2 cups coarse (kosher) salt
- 1 cup honey
- 2 bunches fresh thyme
- 8 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black pepper
- 2 lemons, halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
- Line extra-large stockpot with heavy large plastic bag (about 30-gallon capacity). Rinse turkey; place in plastic bag. Stir 8 quarts water, 2 cups coarse salt, and 1 cup honey in a large pot until salt and honey dissolve. Add 1 bunch fresh thyme, peeled garlic cloves and black pepper. Pour brine over turkey. Gather plastic bag tightly around turkey so that the bird is covered with brine; seal in plastic bag. Refrigerate pot with turkey in brine at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours.
- Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°. Drain turkey well; discard brine. Pat turkey dry inside and out. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into main cavity. Add lemon rinds and remaining 1 bunch fresh thyme to main cavity. Tuck wings under turkey; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Rub turkey all over with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Roast turkey 1 hour. Baste turkey with 1 cup chicken broth. Continue to roast until turkey is deep brown and thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°, basting with 1 cup chicken broth every 30 minutes and covering loosely with foil if turkey is browning too quickly, about 2 1/2 hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter. Tent turkey loosely with foil and let stand 30 minutes. Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup. Spoon off fat; reserve juices.
- Reserved turkey neck, heart, and gizzard
- 6 cups water
- 3 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, halved
- 1 large celery stalk, chopped
- 1 small bay leaf
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- Place reserved turkey neck, heart, and gizzard into large saucepan. Add 6 cups water, 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, carrots, onion, celery, and bay leaf. Simmer over medium heat until turkey stock is reduced to 3 cups, about 2 hours. Strain turkey stock into bowl; reserve turkey neck and giblets. Pull meat off neck. Chop neck meat and giblets.
- Melt 5 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour and whisk 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in turkey stock, cream, and up to 1 cup reserved turkey pan juices (juices are salty, so add according to taste). Simmer gravy until thickened to desired consistency, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add chopped turkey neck meat and giblets; season to taste with pepper.
Serve turkey with gravy.
Recipe Courtesy of: Mary’s Free-Range Turkey
Make it a goal to source locally grown organic produce, organic pastured eggs, raw dairy products, oils, and grass-fed meats as much as possible.