How To Make Maneschewitz-Brined Roast Turkey For Thanksgivukkah
Yes, that means PURPLE TURKEY. But only until it's cooked; in the end it looks normal and tastes amazing. (See BuzzFeed's full Thanksgivukkah feature here.)
PART I: Brine the turkey.
You will need:
In a large sauce pot boil 4 cups of water with salt, caraway, fennel, and mustard seeds. Meanwhile, put oranges, lemons, herbs, and garlic in a 5 gallon container.
Pour the hot liquid into your container.
Add your Manischiewitz and the remaining 20 cups (5 quarts) of water.
Remove turkey from its packaging.
Place turkey in brine.
Cover and refrigerate for 24 - 36 hours (if the turkey isn’t fully covered, you’ll have to flip it halfway through brining).
Part II: Cook the turkey.
When you take your turkey out of the brine, dry it thoroughly with paper towels, then let it sit out and come to room temperature.
Massage 2 sticks of room temperature butter all over the skin.
Place it, breast side down, on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan, and roast at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, turn your oven down to 350 degrees. Flip the turkey and continue to roast, breast side up, for about 3 hours. If skin starts to burn, cover with foil.
After 2 hours and 45 minutes, remove the turkey from the oven and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the leg. You want the internal temperature to be at 165 degrees.
PART III: Make the gravy.
(See full recipe at bottom for ingredient amounts.)
When your turkey is done, remove turkey and roasting rack from roasting pan, and pour loose drippings into a heatproof bowl.
Place roasting pan over two burners on medium heat.
When the pan is hot, add the Manischewitz.
With the pan still over medium heat, scrape the bottom of the pan with a metal spatula to loosen the burnt drippings that are stuck to the bottom.
Strain the mixture into a heatproof container, discarding burnt bits.
Add enough of the reserved drippings (the stuff you poured out at the beginning) to the strained Manischewitz + drippings to yield 2/3 cup, total. Discard the rest.
Add the 2/3 cup of drippings to a medium saucepan over low heat.
Then add flour.
Whisk vigorously and continuously.
After about 2 minutes, the fat/flour mixture (this is called a roux) should look like this:
Add rosemary. KEEP WHISKING!
In about 2 minutes, the gravy will come to a boil and immediately thicken.
When you coat a spoon with gravy and trail your finger down the middle, the gravy should be thick enough to NOT run through the trail. This is how you know it’s done.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes, then serve, breast side up, with gravy.
MANISCHEWITZ-BRINED ROAST TURKEY
6 quarts (24 cups) water, divided
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
3 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
10 cloves garlic, crushed
5 sprigs rosemary
10 sprigs thyme
4 lemons, halved
4 oranges, halved
3 750-mL bottles Manischewitz Concord Grape wine
1 18 to 20-lb turkey
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) , at room temp
5-gallon container (a large cooler or foodsafe bucket)
Roasting rack and pan large enough for turkey
Bring 4 cups water to a boil with salt, caraway, fennel, and mustard seeds to a gentle boil. Stir to ensure salt has dissolved, then let cool to room temperature. Pour into a 5-gallon container. Add the remaining 20 cups water and all remaining brine ingredients (but not the turkey yet).
Remove turkey from its packaging and discard any excess liquid that leaks out. Your turkey probably has a bag inside of it containing its giblets and neck; discard giblets but put the neck in an airtight container and refrigerate to use for turkey stock. Then, submerge turkey in brine, making sure that it is completely covered (it doesn't matter if it's breast-side up or breast side down). Refrigerate for 24-36 hours. If brine doesn't completely cover your turkey, flip the turkey over halfway through to ensure even brining.
Preheat oven to 500°F, with a single rack on the lowest rung.
Take turkey out of brine and dry thoroughly — inside and out — with paper towels. Then start with new paper towels and dry it again, inside and out. Let turkey sit out until it is room temperature, about an hour, then rub your room-temperature butter all over the turkey.
Place turkey on a roasting rack, breast side down. Cook in the 500°F oven for 30 minutes, or until skin on top starts to brown. After 30 minutes, flip your bird, turn the oven down to 350°F and cook turkey breast side up for for 3 - 3 1/2 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. You can check this by taking the turkey out of the oven after 2 hours and 45 minutes and inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the skin of your turkey starts to burn, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the part that is burning.
Once the thigh meat temperature reaches 165°F, remove from the oven and let rest on a cutting board for at least 20 minutes before carving.
Drippings from roasted turkey
1/4 cup Manischewitz Concord Grape wine
3 cups shortcut turkey stock (or canned chicken broth)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
Fine mesh strainer
Take turkey out of the roasting pan and set it aside on a carving block. Pour as much of the turkey drippings as you can out of the pan and into a heatproof container or bowl (plenty will remain stuck to the bottom), and reserve these drippings. Place the roasting pan across two burners over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or metal spatula for about 15 seconds to loosen any brown bits stuck to the bottom. Strain these drippings into a heatproof container, and add enough of the reserved drippings so that you have a total of 2/3 cup. Discard the rest. Put drippings in a small saucepan over low heat, and add flour. Whisk the mixture constantly over low heat for about 2 minutes, until mixture is sticky and paste-like. Slowly pour in turkey stock, whisking continuously. Add herbs and cook on low, whisking occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Take gravy off the heat and remove the herbs (take out the whole sprigs; thyme leaves may fall off the sprig and into your gravy, which is OK).
Serve immediately. Gravy will continue to thicken as it cools.
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