Honey Brined Turkey with Gravy

First off, the AMA’s (American Music Awards). Did you watch?

I vote better than the VMA’s.

When you get around to watching that DVR, pause to think twice about:

Geisha racism from Katy Perry... really?

Euphoric Justin Timberlake performance.  He earned a life time membership on the island

Tremendous black dresses Rihanna and Glee’s Naya Rivera.

How about that Scandal take off with Lady Gaga and R Kelly. There were so many mixed message with that performance. Watch that more than once.

Miley – still don’t know if she is leaning more towards Madonna or Britney. Watching how sinewy her body has become since the VMA’s in Amsterdam or better yet the VMA’s with Robin Thick, the jury is utterly out.

Imagine Dragons. I want to play drums now. Any kinds of drums.

I’m done.

On to Turkey Day with the pièce de résistance of recipes, a Honey Brined Turkey with Gravy. My dad has no idea who Miley, JT or Imagine Dragon’s are and he’s still rad. This is what I will be cooking  for all my family come this Thursday.

It’s all about the Brine… Trust the Brine.

Thanksgiving 2012-2Thanksgiving 2012-3


Honey Brined Turkey with Gravy
Trust the Brine.
  • 1 19- to 20-pound turkey; neck reserved for gravy
  • 8 quarts water
  • 2 cups coarse salt
  • 1½ cups honey
  • 3 bunches fresh thyme
  • 8 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • Gravy:
  • Reserved turkey neck
  • 6 cups water
  • 3½ cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  1. For turkey:
  2. Line extra-large stockpot with heavy large plastic bag (about 30-gallon capacity). Before I had one, a Home Depot bucket worked just dandy. Rinse turkey; place in plastic bag. Stir 8 quarts water, 2 cups coarse salt and 1½ cups honey in large pot until salt and honey dissolve. Add 2 bunches fresh thyme, peeled garlic cloves and black pepper. Pour brine over turkey. Gather plastic bag tightly around turkey so that bird is covered with brine; seal plastic bag. Refrigerate pot with turkey in brine at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours.
  3. Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Drain turkey well; discard brine. Pat turkey dry inside and out. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into main cavity. Add lemon rinds and remaining 1 bunch fresh thyme to main cavity. Tuck wings under turkey; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Rub turkey all over with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  4. Roast turkey 1 hour. Baste turkey with 1 cup chicken broth. Continue to roast until turkey is deep brown and thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F, basting with 1 cup chicken broth every 30 minutes and covering loosely with cheese cloth if turkey is browning too quickly, about 2½ hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter. Tent turkey loosely with foil and let stand 30 minutes. Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup. Spoon off fat; reserve juices.
  5. For gravy:
  6. While turkey cooks, place reserved turkey neck, into large saucepan. Add 6 cups water, 3½ cups chicken broth, carrots, onion, celery and bay leaf. Simmer over medium heat until turkey stock is reduced to 3 cups, about 2 hours. Strain turkey stock into bowl; reserve turkey neck to pull meat off neck for gravy.
  7. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons all purpose flour and whisk 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in turkey stock, cream and up to 1 cup reserved turkey pan juices (juices are salty, so add according to taste). Simmer gravy until thickened to desired consistency, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add chopped turkey neck meat; season to taste with pepper.
  8. Serve turkey with gravy.

Lots and lots of gravy. (Miley sure needs some)


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