Baked Turkey with Tarragon Orange Sauce
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 cup Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar
- 12 average size bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 1 tablespoon coarse grind black pepper
- 3 sprigs thyme
- Parsley stems from one bunch
- 16 cups ice-cold water
- 1 turkey (13-15 pounds)
- 1 stick butter, soft
- 5 tablespoons fresh tarragon
- 4 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 4 medium-sized shallots
- 1 apple
- 4 carrots
- 3 tarragon sprigs
- 3 parsley sprigs
- For brine: Boil first listed water, salt, brown sugar, bay leaves, oregano black pepper, thyme, and parsley stems. Let cool completely and then add second listed cold water.
- Remove innards of turkey and place breast side down in a large stockpot, brining bag or bucket. (Do not use a huge pot as it will have to fit into refrigerator.) Pour brining liquid over turkey to completely submerge bird. Place in the refrigerator overnight or up to 10-16 hours.
- Next day, prepare the herb butter - remove leaves from tarragon and retain stems and less desired leaves to be stuffed inside turkey later. Combine all herbs and seasoning with butter and set aside.
- Preheat oven at 450°F and remove turkey from brine. Place in a roasting pan or roasting rack. Discard brine and pat bird dry with paper towels.
- Squeeze your hand underneath skin of turkey and place a liberal amount of herb butter underneath skin. (At first, it will be a bit uncomfortable but it is not hard to do.) Repeat until all herb butter is used.
- Cut shallots in rings, cut unpeeled apple in 12 slices, slice carrots in rings and place along with remaining herbs inside turkey.
- Cross turkey legs together and tie with butcher twine. Tuck wings underneath turkey. Oil outside skin of turkey liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle with additional ground black pepper and garlic powder and place in oven.
- Bake at 450°F for 30 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until thickest part of bird has reached 162°F, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Carve turkey and serve with Orange Tarragon Sauce.
Dixie Crystals Insight
Tip: Brining turkey ensures a tender and juicy meat. Remember that a purchased frozen turkey takes several days to defrost in the refrigerator before it is ready to be used.