Monday, December 17, 2012

Wine Brined Turkey w Gluten Free Gravy

Ah, I can't believe it's almost Christmas and I don't have my Thanksgiving recipes up yet!  So sorry about that.  The holidays have been nuts this year.  I made a delicious tender, juicy, brined bird without the added sugar.  That's right.  I used wine instead of sugar to tenderize my T-day bird.  With 24 hours of soaking, the turkey sucks up all the salt and flavor in the brine.  It helps to tenderize and flavor every inch of meat.  Then, before I cooked it, I let it sit out at room temp for about an hour and stuffed it with lemons and more fresh herbs.  The result was perfection and the leftovers only lasted 2 days at most.  A delicious recipe for the holidays. Remember to start your prep 1 day ahead.  Enjoy.

A delicious holiday bird for the whole family
Brine Ingredients:
Water, several quarts
1 1/2c coarse sea salt
6 bay leaves
2tbs whole coriander seeds
2tbs whole black peppercorns
1tbs whole fennel seeds
1 bottle white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
1 whole thawed turkey (15-20lbs), pat dry (neck and giblets removed)

Other Turkey Ingredients:
1/4c butter
3tbs fresh rosemary plus 3 full sprigs
3tbs fresh sage
1tbs freshly minced garlic
1 lemon, cut in 1/2
5 sprigs parsley
1/2 onion, cut in chunks
salt pepper

Gluten Free Gravy Ingredients:
2tbs butter
2tbs brown or white rice flour
juices from the cooked turkey
salt to taste

1. Brine your turkey:  In a large pot, bring 1qt water to a boil.  Add the salt, bay leaves and spices.  Bring to a simmer until all salt has dissolved.  Let cool to room temperature.
2. Line a large container with a plastic oven-roasting bag to help minimize clean-up.  I used a bag in a large cooler.  Add the turkey, the dissolved salt & spice mixture and then the bottle of wine.  Add water until the bag or container is full or the turkey is fully submerged. Refrigerate 24 hours.  If it doesn't fit in the fridge (mine didn't), fill the outside of the bag with ice in a cooler and change out the ice when it melts to keep the turkey cold.
3. The next day:  Discard the brine.  Pat the turkey dry. Set in a roasting pan at room temp for at least 1 hour.
4. Prep the turkey for baking:  Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.  Place the oven rack on it's lowest position.  Generously salt and pepper the inside cavity of the bird.  Then stuff it with 1/2 of a lemon, onion chunks, rosemary & parsley sprigs. 
5. In a small bowl, melt 1/4c butter.  Stir in 3tbs chopped rosemary and 3tbs chopped sage.  Stir in minced garlic, 1/2 of a lemon (juiced), and some salt and pepper.  Loosen the skin of the bird and rub the butter mixture all under the skin.  Use the leftover to rub over the top of the skin.  Then salt and pepper the whole thing one last time.
5. Bake in the oven, basting with its own juices every 30 minutes until the thigh comes out 165 degrees.  This took my 15lb bird about 2 hours (the larger the bird, the longer it will take).  If the breast becomes too brown, you can cover it with foil at the end to stop the browning.
6. When the turkey is done, take it out of the oven and let is rest while you make the gravy.
7. Make the gravy:  In a large saute pan, heat 2tbs butter until melted and bubbling over medium high heat.  Add rice flour and stir constantly until the butter is fully absorbed and the flour turns golden brown.  Then slowly add the pan juices from the turkey, whisking constantly.  Turn down the heat until the gravy is at a low simmer.  Add juices until it reaches its desired consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve the carved bird with gluten free gravy on the side if desired.  Enjoy!

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