(Recipe adaptation from Party Line with the Hearty Boys, Good Eats, and Everyday Italian)
1 (14 to 15-pound) turkey, neck and giblets reserved
1 gallon vegetable stock (don’t buy low sodium, you need the salt content for the brine)
2 cups kosher salt
2 cups sugar free maple syrup (sugar free pancake syrup is ok too)
2 bunches fresh thyme
6 bay leaves
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1 bottle of red wine
small bucket of ice
2 Glad turkey bags
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 onion, cut into wedges
6 fresh rosemary sprigs
6 fresh sage sprigs
6 fresh oregano sprigs
7 tablespoons unsalted light butter
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence (please see note below on how to make your own.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 package pre-cut celery
4 large onions, cut in half
5 whole carrots, washed and peeled
herbes de Provence (combine and place in airtight jar)
3 Tablespoons dried marjoram
3 Tablespoons dried thyme
3 Tablespoons dried savory
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1. Combine all brine ingredients, except the wine, ice, and glad bag, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, add ice to cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
2. Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and wine. Place thawed/rinsed turkey inside glad turkey bag, fill bag with brine, completely close bag, and double bag it through other end, refrigerate or set in cooler with ice for at least 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.
3. Ten minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Also take this time to arrange all base vegetables on roasting pan. (order does not matter) This will be used instead of a roasting rack.
4. Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.
5. Place bird directly onto pre-arranged vegetable base. Add aromatics to cavity.
6. Stir 2 tablespoons of butter, the herbes de Provence, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of each the salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until the butter melts. Rub the butter mixture all over the turkey and between the turkey breast meat and skin. Tuck back wings and drumsticks.
7. Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving. ( I highly recommend investing in a meat thermometer, it’s the best way to ensure the you don’t overcook/under cook the turkey)
*Reserve roasted vegetable base for stuffing and gravy