Holiday Harvest:

Turkey Recipe

According to the National Turkey Federation, nearly 88 percent of Americans admit to consuming turkey on Thanksgiving. There are a number of great ways to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey, but one tasty yet simple way is to follow the recipe below.

Brining foods in a saltwater mixture before you cook them adds flavor, tenderness, and reduces cooking times. So when it comes to the Thanksgiving turkey, brining is a wonderful idea. For my recipe you should combine all of the ingredients for the brine listed below in a large container. Add the turkey (approximately 12 to 14 pounds) and let it set in the refrigerator overnight.

Brine:

After you have concluded the brining process, it is time to apply the herb rub. In order to do this, combine all the ingredients listed below. Take a minute to remove the turkey from the roasting pan temporarily and pat it dry. Then, you should massage the mixture onto the turkey. If you can rub some under the skin of the bird, that will add some extra flavor. When done, place the bird back into the roasting pan.

Herb rub:

Add about two cups of chicken stock and one cup apple cider to the bottom of the roasting pan. Bake the turkey in a preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Then you can lower the oven heat to 350 degrees F for the rest of the cooking time. Baste the turkey every half hour. You can add more stock to the roasting pan if you feel the need. Cook approximately 17 minutes per pound. Try to tent aluminum foil over the turkey in order to prevent the skin from getting too dark. The turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the turkey registers at 160 degrees F.

For the gravy, you can use all the pan drippings to create a tasty topping for your turkey. Use a strainer to remove all the solids (the vegetables and herbs) from the drippings. Put the roasting pan over 2 burners on low to medium heat. Add flour to thicken the mixture. Whisk the flour into the mixture well, or there will be lumps. Cook for about five minutes. Slowly whisk in the remaining cup of apple cider and remaining chicken stock. Cook until the mixture has thickened to personal preference. You can add and pepper to taste.

If you are looking for other great recipes to help make your Thanksgiving dinner special, a wonderful source is Food Network.

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