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How To Make IPA-Brined Roast Turkey And Gravy For Friendsgiving

Turkey is a better dinner guest when it's six beers deep. This recipe is part of our Friendsgiving potluck party menu.

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To brine and roast the turkey you will need:

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2 tablespoons black peppercorns

8 bay leaves

1 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cups kosher salt

4 lemons, cut in half

6 12-ounce bottles IPA

12-14 pound turkey

Not pictured: 3/4 cup canola oil

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You'll also need a turkey roasting pan (ideally with a rack) and 5-gallon cooler to brine your turkey.

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The above turkey roasting pan is available here. The cooler pictured is great because it fits better than a rectangular cooler in the fridge. It is available here.

**YOU NEED TO BRINE YOUR TURKEY AT LEAST 48 HOURS IN ADVANCE.**

To start the brine, combine the peppercorns, bay leaves, salt, sugar and 12 cups of water in a large pot.

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Boil the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool to room temperature, then pour it into the cooler.

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Cover the cooler, put in in the fridge, and let the brine work its magic for 48-72 hours. When it's ready, carefully lift the turkey out of the brine and set it on a paper towel-lined cutting board.

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When the turkey is dry, transfer it to the roasting rack and let it sit for 45 minutes to come to room temperature. Flip it breast-side down and pour about 1/2 cup of canola oil on top then rub it in all over the skin.

Next, tuck both the wings: Pull the tip of the wing up and close to the body...

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(This step isn't totally necessary — it's mostly about aesthetics and keeping the wing tips from burning.)

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After 2 hours, take the turkey out of the oven, insert a meat thermometer deep into the turkey, right where the breast meets the thigh. If it's not at 165°F, roast it for another 15 minutes then check again.

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IPA-Brined Roast Turkey and Gravy

Serves 12

INGREDIENTS
For the turkey:

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

8 bay leaves

1 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cups kosher salt

6 12-ounce bottles IPA

12-14-pound turkey

4 lemons, cut in half

1/2 to 3/4 cup canola oil

For the gravy:

Turkey drippings from the turkey roasting pan

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or turkey stock)

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Special equipment:

Very large (at least 5-gallon) bucket, pot, or cooler, for brining

Room in the fridge for that very large bucket, pot or cooler

Turkey roasting pan with a rack

Meat thermometer

PREPARATION
For the turkey:

1. In a large pot, combine peppercorns, bay leaves, sugar, salt, and 12 cups of water. Boil the mixture until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

2. When the mixture has cooled, pour it into your brining container. Add the IPA and 8 cups cold water. Submerge the turkey completely in the brine, then add the lemon halves. (If it's not all the way covered, add up to 8 additional cups of water.) Cover and refrigerate for 24-36 hours.

3. An hour before you're ready to roast your turkey, remove it from the brine, pick off any peppercorns or bay leaves, and pat it as dry as possible with paper towels. Place the turkey breast side up in a large turkey roasting pan with a rack. Let the turkey sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes before roasting.

3. Preheat oven to 500°F and position a rack on the bottom shelf. Make sure there's enough room for your turkey; take all the other racks out if you have to. When you're ready to roast, rub canola all over your turkey, coating all of the skin. Tie the legs together with butcher's twine and tuck the wing tips behind the back. Add a cup of water to the pan and roast the turkey for 30 minutes at 500°F. (Starting the turkey at a super high temperature makes for crispier skin.) After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 350°F and continue to roast the turkey for 2 to 2 ½ hours, turning the roasting pan after an hour, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (right where the thigh meets the breast) reads 165°F. When the turkey is done, transfer it to a carving board to rest while you make your gravy.

4. When the gravy is ready, carve your turkey: The easiest way to carve a turkey is to quarter it first — meaning you cut the legs off first, then cut each breast off of the turkey carcass — then slice it into pieces. For a step-by-step GIF guide click here.

For the gravy:

1. Set up a small strainer over a medium bowl, and pour what's left in the turkey pan (a.k.a. the pan drippings) through the strainer and into the bowl. No need to scrape the bottom of the pan, just pour whatever comes out easily. When your pan drippings are strained, measure out 1 cup and throw the rest away.

2. In a medium saucepan, heat the 1 cup of pan drippings over medium heat until they are bubbling gently. Whisk the drippings. While you're whisking, use a small mesh sifter or strainer to sift the flour all at once into the bubbling pan drippings, continuing to whisk the mixture together so that the flour doesn't get lumpy. Keep whisking until the mixture gets smooth and sticks loosely together, about 3 minutes.

3. Keep whisking and slowly add the stock in a steady stream. Continue to whisk until all of the stock is incorporated. Then bring the gravy to a boil. Once it boils, lower your heat so that the gravy is barely simmering. Let the gravy simmer until it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes, or to your desired consistency. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

4. To serve, pour the gravy into a gravy boat or small bowl. Cover the gravy with plsatic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the surface of the gravy so it doesn't form a skin, and cover with foil until you're ready to serve.

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