Saturday, July 10, 2010

Michele's Drunk Turkey

This Recipe is from my good Friend Michele. The turkey is melt in the mouth moist and very flavorful....Kent's favorite by far. I am still one of those that LOVES a regular turkey with stuffing etc. so we do this about every other year to be fair to all!

Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 40 minutes-ish Cook Time: depends on Turkey Size. Internal temp of over 165 is the recommended goal.

You will need:

1 bucket large enough to hold the entire turkey with about 6” of leeway at the top

You need to put bags of ice over the top since you probably won’t be able to refrigerate the whole thing, and it needs to stay cold to avoid sickness and/or death

1 extra large food grade bag to put into the aforementioned bucket, unless you wash the bucket really well

We use our large Ice Chest to avoid the sickness/death thing!

2 gallons apple cider
3 cups packed brown sugar
4 cup coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon juniper berries
4-6 bay leaves
10-15 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons chopped sage

4 tablespoons olive oil

6-8 cans of dark stout beer (Guinness or similar)

a few bottles of Sprite/7Up just in case...

1 (16-22 pound) Turkey, well rinsed and patted dry

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (basting)

Combine the apple cider, brown sugar, salt, garlic, peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaves, sage and olive oil in a large pot or bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Combine the mixture with the beer in a BIG plastic container, but not too big, or you will need more brine. IMPORTANT if you run out of beer, you can make up the difference with some Sprite/7UP/Sierra Mist should you have any to hand.

Place the Turkey in the brine. If you use a bag, make sure the turkey is COVERERD in the brine mix. Seal the bag or cover the bucket with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. I poke the turkey from the inside of the cavity as well for extra brine penetration. Don’t know if it made a difference but… well you tasted it.

Remove the Turkey from the brine and dump the juice out completely. This means turning it over and over to get the brine out of the next and body cavity. Trust me, if you don’t do this part you will have a LOT of the brine in with the turkey juices. This is not bad, but the gravy tastes better if it is only a little. Pat dry with paper towels and place on top of whatever vegetables you like to cook with it in the roasting pan.

In a small saucepan, melt about 4 tablespoons butter with a pastry brush; baste the top and sides of the Turkey with the butter. Sprinkle some Pappy’s over the then glistening skin.

Cover the turkey with tented foil for the first couple hours, since the sugar in the brine will turn the skin too dark otherwise. Remove the foil for the last hour or so to crisp the skin.

Place in the oven and roast breast side up for as many minutes/hours as it takes. The same rules apply that work with the inferior sober turkey.

Gravy you can make for yourself. You won’t need to add salt since the Pappy’s melting off the skin will be salty enough.

To serve, carve the Turkey and serve with the gravy, garnished with parsley.

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