Honey Brined Turkey Stuffed with Lemons & Thyme
Posted on October 31, 2012 by Webdev
1 20 pound turkey
8 quarts water
2 cups coarse salt
1 cup honey
2 bunches of fresh thyme
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
2 lemons, halved
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4-5 cups gf chicken broth for basting
1 cup pan drippings
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
5 Tablespoons gf flour
4-5 cups gf chicken stock
1/4 cup whipping cream
Salt and pepper
Rinse turkey and place in a large, heavy plastic zip-lock bag. Place turkey, in bag, in a large stock pot.
In a large bowl, add water, salt and honey, mixing until salt dissolves. Add 1 bunch of thyme, garlic and pepper; blend. Pour brine into zip-lock bag with turkey. Gather bag up tightly around turkey and secure it so that as much of the air as possible is removed and turkey is covered with brine. Place the pot in refrigerator for 24 hours.
Position a rack in bottom third of oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Drain turkey, discarding brine. Pat turkey dry inside and out. Pour freshly squeezed lemon juice into turkey cavity and place the squeezed lemon halves along with remaining bunch of thyme iside turkey cavity. Tuck wings under the back and tie legs together with kitchen string.
Place turkey breast-side down on a rack in a large roasting pan. Rub bird all over with olive oil. Roast turkey for 1 hour and baste with chicken broth. Continue to roast for 1-1/2 more hours then remove from oven and turn turkey breast-side up. Return to oven and continue roasting, basting with chicken broth every 30 minutes until done.
Turkey is done when internal temperature of a meat thermometer inserted into achs 170-180 degrees F.
Place turkey on a platter, tent with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
Using a baster, remove fat from turkey drippings and heat drippings over medium
Place 1 cup chicken broth and 4 tablespoons flour in a small container with a lid and shake vigorously until blended. Pour flour mixture into simmering drippings and stir until mixture begins to thicken. Add about 4 cups chicken stock and cream, continuing to stir.
For desired consistency, add more flour/chicken stock mixture to thicken, or more chicken stock to thin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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