Olive Oil Roasted Turkey
Prep Time: 15 min
Inactive Time: 17 hr
Cook Time: 3 hr 30 min
Total Time: 20 hr 45 min
Servings: 10 or more
- FOR THE BRINE
- 2 gallons apple cider
- 3 cups light brown sugar
- 1½ cups kosher salt (7¾ oz.)
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 10 cloves garlic, crushed
- 7 dried bay leaves
- 3 tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp juniper berries
- FOR THE TURKEY
- 1 12½ to 14 lb. fresh turkey (not kosher or self-basting)
- 1 medium lemon, halved
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 4 sprigs sage
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp Filippo Berio Olive Oil
- ¼ cup reduced apple cider (see step 4)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Gone are the days of the dry, tough, and stringy Thanksgiving Day bird. Enter the brined turkey. Brining decreases moisture loss by 30 to 40 percent, and using cider adds to the taste. Brushing olive oil on the turkey before and after roasting results in fabulous depth of flavor.
BRINE THE TURKEY
- Combine 1 gallon plus 1 quart of the apple cider and the remaining brine ingredients in a 12-quart nonreactive pot and heat on high heat until the sugar and salt dissolve. Let cool.
- In the meantime, remove the giblet package and neck from the bird and refrigerate for later use in the gravy.
- Trim away any excess skin, if desired. Submerge the turkey in the brine, breast side down (it’s OK if the back bone pops up above the brine), cover, and refrigerate for 13 hours or up to one day.
- Heat the remaining 3 quarts of apple cider in a 5-quart pot over high heat until reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 1½ hours. Remove from the heat, and let cool.
MAKE THE TURKEY
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Remove the turkey from the brine and wash thoroughly inside and out. Pat the skin and cavity dry with paper towels. Squeeze the lemon into the cavity, and rub the cavity with the juice to coat. Put the two halves of the squeezed lemon, the thyme, sage, and rosemary into the cavity. Truss the legs with kitchen twine, and tuck the wings behind the neck.
- Put a V-rack in a large shallow roasting pan and put the turkey on the rack, breast side up. Brush the turkey with ¼ cup of the olive oil. Roast until the turkey registers 165 degrees F, 3 to 3¾ hours. If the turkey begins to get too dark on top, tent it loosely with foil. Remove the pan from the oven. Whisk the reduced cider with the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, ½ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper. Brush the turkey with the olive oil-cider mixture, tent with foil, and let the turkey rest for at least 45 minutes and up to 1 hour before carving.
- Serve with Madeira Cider Gravy.
TIP: MAKE AHEAD
The cider can be reduced up to 1 week in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Warm on medium heat before use.