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Honey Brined Turkey With Cream Gravy

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“This turkey is "brined" in a mix of water, salt, honey and seasonings. The results are an incredibly tender turkey. You do need to get started a day ahead”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. FOR TURKEY: Line extra-large stock pot with heavy large plastic bag.
  2. (about 30 gal. capacity) Rinse turkey; place in plastic bag.
  3. Stir 8 quarts water, 2 cups coarse salt and 1 cup honey in large pot until salt and honey dissolve.
  4. Add 1 bunch fresh thyme, peeled garlic cloves and black pepper.
  5. Pour brine over turkey.
  6. Gather plastic bag tightly around turkey so that bird is covered with brine; seal plastic bag.
  7. Refrigerate pot with turkey in brine at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours.
  8. Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F.
  9. Drain turkey well; discard brine.
  10. Pat turkey dry inside and out.
  11. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into main cavity.
  12. Add lemon rinds and remaining 1 bunch of fresh thyme to main cavity.
  13. Tuck wings under turkey; tie legs together loosely to hold shape.
  14. Place on rack set in large roasting pan.
  15. Rub turkey all over with 2 TBS olive oil.
  16. Roast turkey 1 hour.
  17. Baste with 1 cup chicken broth.
  18. Continue to roast until turkey is deep brown and thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F, basting with 1 cup chicken broth every 30 minutes and covering loosely with foil if turkey is browning too quickly, about 2 1/2 hours longer.
  19. Transfer turkey to platter.
  20. Tent loosely with foil let stand 30 minutes.
  21. Pour pan juices into glass measuring cup, spoon off fat and reserve.
  22. MEANWHILE, PREPARE GRAVY: Place reserved turkey neck, heart and gizzard into a large saucepan.
  23. Add 6 cups water, 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, carrots,onion, celery and bay leaf.
  24. Simmer over medium heat until turkey stock is reduced to 3 cups, about 2 hours.
  25. Strain into a bowl; reserve turkey neck and giblets.
  26. Pull meat off neck.
  27. Chop neck meat and giblets; set aside.
  28. Melt 5 TBS butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
  29. Add 5 TBS flour and whisk for 2 minutes.
  30. Gradually whisk in turkey stock, cream and up to 1 cup reserved turkey pan juices (juices are salty so add according to taste).
  31. Simmer gravy until thickened to desired consistency, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  32. Add chopped turkey neck meat and giblets; season to taste with pepper.
  33. Serve turkey with gravy.

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