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
Tasso Gravy
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove turkey, and discard brine. Pat dry, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  4. Position oven rack in lower third of oven, and preheat oven to 350°.
  5. Scatter celery, carrots, and onion in bottom of a large roasting pan. Place a large roasting rack over vegetables; pour broth over vegetables.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
Tasso Gravy
  1. 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.
Recipe by Louisiana Cookin at