Juniper Brined Turkey
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme, or 4 tablespoons dried
1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed
INSTRUCTIONS: Place the water in a large pot that can easily hold the liquid and the turkey you intend to brine. Add all ingredients and stir for a minute or two until the sugar and salt dissolve. Put your turkey into the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours. If the turkey floats to the top, use a plate or other weight to keep it completely submerged in the brine.
Note: The recipe may be halved or doubled; the important thing is to have enough brine to completely cover the turkey. Before roasting, remove the bird from the brine and drain well. Pat dry. Follow The Best Way instructions, see above.
Tips from Jorge: I have typically done this in a big cooler. You want to make sure the bird is completely submerged. They tend to float up, so I sometimes put something heavy on top, like a heavy skillet.
Roast Turkey with Sausage, Apple, and Prune Stuffing and Madeira Cream Sauce
6 oz pitted prunes, chopped coarse
2 ½ cups Madeira wine
18 lb turkey, with giblets
2 cups chopped onion
3 ½ sticks butter, unsalted
2 c celery finely chopped
2 c tart apple (McIntosh or Granny Smith), cored and finely chopped
1 ½ lbs mild pork sausage
5 cups day old French bread, cut into ½ inch cubes and toasted
1/3 c fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp sage, chopped
1 tbsp thyme, minced
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 ½ c heavy cream
4 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch
¼ c cold water
INSTRUCTIONS: In a ceramic or glass bowl let 6 ounces pitted pruned, chopped coarse, macerate in ½ cup Madeira for 2 hours. Pat dry an 18-pound turkey and reserve the liver. Make 3 cups turkey giblet stock from the remaining giblets, reserving the giblets.
In a stainless steel or enameled skillet cook 2 cups chopped onion in 1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter over moderate heat for 5 minutes, or until it is softened. Add 2 cups each of chopped celery and peeled, cored, and chopped tart apple, cook the mixture for 5 minutes, or until the celery is softened slightly, and transfer it with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. In the fat remaining in the skillet cook 1 ½ pounds sausage meat, breaking it up with a fork, and the reserved turkey liver, minced, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is lightly colored, and transfer the mixture to the bowl. Cut enough day-old French or Italian bread into ½ inch cubes to measure 5 cups, spread it in a jelly-roll pan and toast it in a preheated moderately slow oven (325 F). (Note: Jorge does not allow this processed be substituted with packaged stuffing mix) for 20 to 30 minutes, or until it is crisp and slightly golden. Transfer the bread to the bowl, add the prune mixture, 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried, 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried, ¼ teaspoon ground allspice, and freshly grated nutmeg, slat, and pepper to taste, and toss the stuffing well. Let the stuffing cool.
Sprinkle turkey inside and out with salt and pepper and pack the neck cavity loosely with some of the stuffing. Fold the neck skin under the body and fasten it with a skewer. Pack the body cavity loosely with some of the stuffing, cover it with a crumpled piece of foil, and truss the turkey. Transfer the remaining stuffing to a buttered 1-quart baking dish and reserve it, covered and chilled.
Spread the turkey with 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened. On the rack of a roasting pan roast the turkey on one side in a preheated hot oven (425 F). for 15 minutes. Turn the turkey to the other side and roast it for 15 minutes more. Reduce the heat to moderately slow (325 F). Turn the turkey breast side up, brush it with melted butter, and arrange a piece of cheesecloth soaked in 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled over it. Roast the turkey, basting it every 20 minutes, for 3 hours and 30 minutes more, or until the juices run clear when the fleshy part of a thigh is pricked with a skewer, or a meat thermometer inserted in the fleshy part of a thigh registers 185 F. Durint the last hour of roasting bake the reserved stuffing, covered, for 40 minutes and, uncovered for 20 minutes more. If a moister stuffing is desired, add chicken stock or tinned chicken broth to the stuffing while it is baking. Remove and discard the cheesecloth and trussing strings, transfer the turkey to a platter, and keep it warm, loosely covered with foil.
Skim off the fat from the juices in the pan, add 1 cup Madeira, and deglaze the pan over high heat, scraping up the brown bits clinging to the bottom and sides. Reduce the liquid by half, in a stainless steel or enameled saucepan combine it with the giblet stock and the reserved giblets, minced, and reduce the mixture over moderately high heat to about 2 cups. Add ¾ cup heavy cream and reduce the sauce to about 2 ¼ cups. Stir in 4 teaspoons arrowroot dissolved in ¼ cup cold water and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and strain the sauce into a heated sauceboat. Transfer the stuffing in the baking dish to a heated serving dish.
TURKEY GIBLET STOCK
Put all the giblets, except the liver, from a turkey in a saucepan with 3 cups each of water and chicken stock or tinned chicken broth, 1 onion stuck with 1 clove can’t read this part of the recipe because it’s been used so much). Bring the liquid to a boil and skim the froth that rises to the surface. Add a cheesecloth bag containing sprigs of parsley, and bay leaf and cook the mixture over moderate heat for 1 hour. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl and let it cool. Chill the stock and remove the fat. Makes about 3 cups.
Ginger-Soy Sweet Potatoes
4-5 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 tbsp fresh ginger
3 tbsp soy sauce
Take the peeled and cubed sweet potatoes and place in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove them from the heat and drain the liquid. Then spread the sweet potatoes in a large casserole and sprinkle with remaining ingredients. Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees, or until they've just started to brown. Serve hot.
That's what I've got - everything else was pretty simple, except the lentils, which have been posted here before (and I believe are listed under a recipe tag).