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Hungry Pigeon's Cider-Brined Turkey

Makes 8 to 10 servings For the brine: 1/2 gallon dry hard cider (Kurant or Commonwealth Cider Traditional dry are good options)

Makes 8 to 10 servings


For the brine:

1/2 gallon dry hard cider (Kurant or Commonwealth Cider Traditional dry are good options)

11/2 cups kosher salt

12 bay leaves

2 tablespoons black peppercorn

1 teaspoon whole allspice berries

1/2 gallon apple cider

8 sprigs parsley

8 sprigs sage

8 sprigs rosemary

8 sprigs thyme

6 shallots

1 gallon cold water

1 fresh turkey (we used a 14-pound bird from Keiser's Pheasantry)

For the glaze:

2 cups apple cider

2 cups dry hard cider

2 cups turkey stock

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon salt

4 sprigs parsley

4 sprigs sage

4 sprigs rosemary

4 sprigs thyme

Cider glaze to garnish


1. In a pot, combine the hard cider, salt, bay leaf, peppercorns, and allspice. Cook over high heat, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Shut off and set aside. In a blender, combine about half the apple cider with fresh herbs and shallots, and blend on medium for about a minute, until consistency is still a little chunky. Mix into a bowl with the rest of the cider and the water, and then add the puree to the cooled hard cider blend. Submerge the turkey in the brine and refrigerate 2-3 days.

2. Make the glaze: Combine all liquids, honey, and salt in a pot and reduce to 11/2 cups. Rough-chop the herbs and place in a smaller container that you can cover. (I used a to-go quart container with a lid). Pour the hot liquid reduction over the herbs and immediately cover. Leave at room temperature until you're ready to glaze. This could be made a day ahead but needs to be refrigerated.

3. Cook the turkey: Remove turkey from the brine, allow it to drain, then dry inside and out with clean cloths. Place in a roasting pan. Allow the turkey to sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (a lower temp, Schroeder says produces a moister bird). Roast for 4-5 hours, or until an internal temperature of 150-155-degrees. Rotate every 45 minutes. Allow turkey to rest at room temp for at least an hour.

4. About 45 minutes before serving, turn your oven to 500-550 degrees. Once the oven is hot and the turkey is fully rested, place it in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the turkey is as brown as you like it. Remove and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes and up to 40 minutes. It will continue to cook as it rests. It should ultimately reach an internal temperature of about 165 degrees. Brush liberally with the glaze before carving.

– From Hungry Pigeon chef and co-owner Scott Schroeder

Per serving (based on 10): 714 calories, 109 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams sugar, 18 grams fat, 275 milligrams cholesterol, 688 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber.EndText