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Perfectly Brined Turkey with Pan Gravy Recipe

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This recipe for Perfectly Brined Turkey with Pan Gravy, by , is from The McCormick Family Cookbook, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Nancy Watson
Added: Friday, October 17, 2008


For a 14 lb Turkey
For the Brine (Monday)
1 gallon water
1 C sugar
1 C salt
1 bunch fresh sage
1 bunch fresh thyme
3 tbsp cracked black pepper
Bring all ingredients to boil and simmer for 10 min. Chill overnight.
For the Turkey Stock (Tuesday)
2 turkey wings, neck, giblets and other trimmings
1 onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
4 C chicken stock
Thanksgiving Day:
For the Turkey and Gravy:
1 onion, sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
6 C turkey stock
1 C dry white wine
3 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1 bunch fresh sage

Preheat the oven to 400. Cut off the two end pieces off each turkey wing, put them and the additional turkey trimmings in a roasting pan. Roast until the skin is well browned, 45 min. to an hour. Place turkey pieces in soup pot. Add the giblets (except the liver) and neck to soup pot. Add the sliced vegetables, a tsp of salt and several grinds of pepper to the pot.
Add chicken stock and enough cold water to cover the meat and vegetables, bring to a boil and simmer stock over medium low heat, partially covered for 3 hours. Strain stock, reserving giblets and refrigerate. You should have 6 C of stock.
Brine the Turkey (Tuesday):
In a container large enough to hold the turkey double two large heavy-duty garbage bags. Place turkey in bags and add brine. Cinch up sides of the bags and tightly tie the top. The brine should be all around the bird. Refrigerate turkey. If it doesn't fit- use an ice chest, cover and surround the bird with ice. Replenish ice as needed until Thursday. (I use those freezer blocks).
About 5 hrs. before serving, remove turkey from brine and rinse with fresh cold water. Dry with paper towels. Fill body and neck cavity loosely with your favorite stuffing.Truss bird with twine. Spread sliced vegetables over the bottom of a roasting pan and lay turkey on top. Remove fat layer from top of stock to roasting pan. Heat remaining stock in a sauce pan.
About 4 hours before serving, preheat oven to 400.
Place turkey in oven and roast for 1 1/2 hrs. Turn oven down to 325. Tent the breast loosely with foil. Add a little stock to moisten vegetables in roasting pan if they are browning too fast. Roast turkey for another 1 1/2 hrs until internal temperature of the thigh is 165 and juices run clear. Turn oven off and transfer turkey to a platter and return it to oven to rest. While the turkey is resting, strain roasting pan juices into simmering stock, reserve vegetables. Use a little of the stock to deglaze the roasting pan and return liquid to sauce pan. Chop giblets very fine.
Melt butter in a saute pan and add the vegetables from the roasting pan. Sprinkle with the flour and stir to combine. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it is very thick and brown,. Add wine, blend thoroughly and cook, stirring frequently until wine is mostly evaporated. Add half of the stock to the saute pan, stir well and pour thickened stock back into the sauce pan. Simmer for 10 min. Strain the sauce into another sauce pan and simmer it gently for another 20 min.
Remove turkey from oven, pour any juices into sauce, add giblets to the sauce and simmer 5 min. Taste and season sauce.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Serves 8-10
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
I follow this recipe to the point of stuffing it. Jim stuffs it with oyster stuffing and decides when to put it in the oven and tells me when it is done. I got the recipe from the New York Times in 2001. Since then I always brine my turkeys. I double the amount of brine to make sure the turkey is completely covered.




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