How to: Apple Cider Brined Turkey

Posted November 25, 2013 | No Comments.

One of the biggest challenges in cooking your thanksgiving turkey is not serving a dried out bird on the dinner table. Brining is an often overlooked and essential part of ensuring this does not happen. Brining is similar to a marinade. It is a way of increasing the moisture holding capacity of meat resulting in a moister meat once cooked. Once you try this recipe you will never cook an un-brined turkey again!


For the brine

  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 2/3 cup sea salt
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 cups water
  • ¼ cup whole all spice
  • 6 each bay leaves
  • 10-12 pound fresh turkey(do not use a frozen turkey as they are processed with a salt solution)


Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and chill. Once the brine is chilled, submerse the whole turkey in a large pot or bucket for 24 hours.  If the turkey cannot be completely submersed, simply rotate the turkey at 12 hours to brine all parts.  Once the brining is complete, remove the turkey and rinse. This removes the excess brine from the outside of the skin.


Roasting the turkey

  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • ½ cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 each granny smith apple, chopped
  • 1 bunch sage, chopped
  • 2 ounces melted butter
  • 4 ounces of chicken stock


Preheat an oven to 450 degrees. In a roasting pan, place the celery, onion, carrot and half of the chopped apple in the bottom of the pan. Set the turkey, breast side up, on top. Take the other half of the chopped apple and chopped sage and place inside the turkey. Pour the melted butter over the turkey and spread to coat evenly. Next, season with fresh cracked black pepper and a light amount of sea salt. Place in the oven and roast for 35 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Add the chicken stock to the bottom of the pan. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and place back in the oven. Cook the turkey for approximately 15 minutes per pound. The internal temp of the thigh must be 165 degrees or if your turkey came with a pop up timer you can check that for doneness. Once the turkey is cooked, remove from the oven. Place on a carving board and cover with foil to keep warm.


For the gravy

  • 2 ounces reserved cooking oil
  • 7 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup reserved cooking stock
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock


Empty the contents of the roasting pan into a strainer with a bowl under it to remove the cooking vegetables. Skim off all the oil that separates on top of the stock. Reserve two ounces of oil. Place the roasting pan on a medium high heat burner. Add the two ounces of oil. Sprinkle the flour over the oil. Using a wire whisk, stir for approximately two minutes or until the mixture is golden brown. Add chicken stock to the pan and bring to a simmer. Then add one cup of reserved cooking stock. Taste for seasoning.  Adjust thickness by simmering longer to thicken or add cooking stock to thin out. Once the gravy is ready, carve your turkey and serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!


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