Wet brining a turkey is a sure way to have the most moist, succulent bird possible. The brine and the glaze in this recipe take flavor cues from France and Asia, incorporating some signature tastes for a sumptuous end result.
14-inch piecefresh Ginger Root, rough chopped (peeling not necessary)
1cupDry Chardonnay wine
Supplies: 5 gallon food-grade plastic pail with lid(available at hardware stores)
Ingredients for the turkey cavity:
1medium Yellow Onion, cut into large pieces
1Carrot, cut into 2-inch lengths
2stalks Celery, cut into 2-inch lengths
1stick Unsalted Butter, softened
Ingredients for the Glaze:
1tablespoonfresh Ginger Root, finely minced
½cupDry White Wine
Instructions for Brining:
In a large pot over low heat, combine the salt, sugar and 8 cups water. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
Add the star anise, ginger, and thyme; allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
While the brine cools, rinse the turkey inside and out.
Add the brine to the food-grade pail, along with the 1 cup dry white wine and the turkey. Fill with cold water to cover. Seal with the lid and chill for 10-12 hours (but not longer than 12 hours); it works well to make the brine the night before cooking the turkey and allowing it to brine overnight.
Instructions for Roasting and Glazing the Turkey:
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a V-rack with two layers of heavy foil, dull side facing the turkey, and place into a roasting pan. Poke holes in the foil to allow the turkey juices to run into the pan.
Place the turkey breast side down on the prepared rack. Add the onion, carrot and celery pieces into the turkey cavity. Rub the entire turkey with the softened unsalted butter.
Pour 1 cup of water into the roasting pan and place in the heated oven for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, flip the turkey onto its back being careful not to puncture the skin. Bake until the turkey thigh registers 170 degrees on a meat thermometer.
While the turkey cooks, prepare the glaze. Combine the thyme, honey, ginger and dry white wine in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the honey dissolves. Remove from heat.
When the turkey thigh registers 170 degrees on a meat thermometer brush the top of the turkey with the glaze and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until the thigh reaches 175 degrees . Note: glazes with sweeteners in them tend to blacken, so watch the turkey and remove if it becomes too dark (it will still taste great; this is for appearance sake).
Remove the turkey and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Slice and serve.