Citrus Brined Turkey
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 3 cups orange juice, use divided
- 1 orange, cut into wedges
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1 bunch fresh sage leaves
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1½ – 2 gallons cold water
- 1 (20-pound) fresh, whole turkey, giblets and neck removed
- Citrus Stuffing, if desired (found on page 46 of the Nov/Dec 2012 issue)
- 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons butter, dairy-free butter, or olive oil Large piece of cheese cloth Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- The day before roasting the turkey, make the brine by placing 1 cup kosher salt, brown sugar, 1 cup orange juice, the orange and lemon wedges, sage, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Let cool.
- Place the turkey into a large pot or brining bag, pour in the brine and enough cold water to cover the turkey, and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
- About 7 hours before dinner, remove the turkey from the brine (discarding the brine) and rinse well. Dry the turkey well and let it come to room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Place rack on the lowest level in the oven and preheat to 450ºF.
- Combine the remaining 2 cups of orange juice with the butter in a saucepan and heat until the butter is melted. Soak the cheese cloth in the orange juice mixture.
- Season the inside of the turkey with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Fill both cavities of the turkey loosely with stuffing if desired (put the remaining stuffing in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 45 minutes in a 350ºF oven), fold neck flap under, and secure with toothpicks or a skewer. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and place the turkey in a roasting pan, breast side up. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Rub the remaining 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil all over the turkey and season with another 1½ teaspoons each salt and pepper.
- Remove the cheese cloth from the orange juice mixture, squeeze out most of the liquid, fold into a large square, and place over the breast and halfway down the down the sides of the turkey. Place turkey in the oven, legs first. Roast for 30 minutes. Using a turkey baster, baste turkey with the orange juice mixture and reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. Continue to roast the turkey for another 2 ½ hours, basting every 30 minutes. Using the turkey baster, remove excess drippings from the roasting pan and add to the orange juice mixture each time you baste.
- Carefully remove and discard the cheese cloth. Place turkey back into the oven, breast side first. Cook for another hour basting after 30 minutes. If the breast gets too dark, place a piece of foil over it.
- Check temperature of the turkey with an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. It should read 180ºF. Stuffing temperature should be between 140ºF and 165ºF. If not done yet, continue to cook, basting. Once the turkey comes to temperature, remove it from the oven, cover with a piece of foil, and let stand for 30 minutes before serving.
- A stuffed turkey will take about 4 – 4 ½ hours to fully cook. An unstuffed turkey will take between 30 – 45 minutes less than a stuffed turkey.
Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Simply Gluten Free are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
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