A cane syrup brine helps keep this turkey incredibly moist and flavorful.
Cane Syrup-Brined Roast Turkey
Yields: 6 servings
- 2 quarts water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup cane syrup
- ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 satsuma, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 quarts ice water
- 2 large turkey-size roasting bags
- 1 (11½-pound) turkey, giblets and neck discarded
- 3 stalks celery, cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
- 3 medium carrots, cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- Tasso Gravy (recipe follows)
- Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs, fresh rosemary, fresh sage, satsuma slices
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth, room temperature
- ¾ cup reserved turkey drippings
- 1 ounce tasso, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
- In a large stockpot, combine 2 quarts water, 1 cup salt, cane syrup, brown sugar, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, satsuma, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until salt and sugar are dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 quarts ice water; let cool completely.
- Place a large turkey-size roasting bag inside another large turkey-size roasting bag; place in a large roasting pan. Add turkey to bags; pour brine mixture over turkey. Seal bags, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.
- Remove turkey, and discard brine. Pat dry, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Position oven rack in lower third of oven, and preheat oven to 350°.
- Scatter celery, carrots, and onion in bottom of a large roasting pan. Place a large roasting rack over vegetables; pour broth over vegetables.
- Place turkey on roasting rack. Gently loosen skin from turkey, keeping skin intact. Rub butter under skin, over turkey, and in large cavity. Tie legs with butcher’s twine.
- Bake for 1 hour; loosely cover with foil. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thigh registers at least 165°, 1½ to 2 hours more. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving.
- Strain and reserve pan drippings for Tasso Gravy. Transfer turkey to a serving platter. Serve with Tasso Gravy. Garnish with thyme, rosemary, sage, and satsuma, if desired.
- In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually add broth and reserved turkey drippings to pan. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring mixture to a boil. Stir in tasso, thyme, and Creole seasoning. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.