- 3 cups apple cider
- 2 gallons of water
- 1 1/2 cups fine sea salt
- 2 cups honey or brown sugar
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 3 oranges
- 5 garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 3 tablespoons tri color peppercorns
- 5 bay leaves
- 1 18 lb turkey
- 1 18 lb brined turkey
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 stick butter softened
- 2 fresh rosemary springs leaves removed and finely minced
- 3 leaves fresh sage finely chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves removed, finely chopped
For the brine
Remove the rosemary leaves off the sprigs. Peel the oranges being careful not to get the pith. A vegetable peeler works great.
Combine apple cider, water, salt, honey, rosemary leaves, orange peels, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Allow it to cool and immerse the turkey into it. Store it in the fridge. Brine for 16-18 hours.
After the brining process, rinse the turkey very well under cold water.
For the turkey
Heat the oven to 275.
Place the turkey breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan.
Cover completely with heavy duty aluminum foil. Roast the turkey for 10 minutes per pound.
While the turkey is roasting, combine the butter, orange zest, and rosemary leaves and mix well so all is combined.
After the first stage of roasting, remove the turkey from the oven, remove the foil and rub the butter mixture all over the skin.
Raise the temperature of the oven to 350.
Insert an oven proof meat thermometer into the side of the breast of the turkey.
Return the turkey to the oven, uncovered.
Baste with the juices every 30 minutes until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees and the skin is golden brown.
Remove from the oven, tent with foil and let rest 15 minutes before serving.