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Brine-Cured Roast Turkey with Maple Ginger Glaze

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Contributed by Organic Valley Family of Farms

Thanksgiving turkey never tasted this good! The brine boosts the juice, and the maple ginger glaze creates a color and flavor sensation that may have guests begging for leftovers.
Prep Time: 4:30

1 Organic Valley Whole Young Turkey

For the Brine:
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 cups coarse salt (sea salt)
1 cup sugar
2 whole bay leaves
1 head fresh garlic (peeled and halved)
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper

For the Maple Ginger Glaze:
1/4 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons fresh ginger root (peeled and minced)
1 teaspoon fresh garlic (peeled and minced)
2 tablespoons Organic Valley Cultured Butter
1/2 cup Organic Valley Orange Juice - no pulp added
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon orange zest (fresh)
salt and pepper (to taste)

1. For the brine: combine listed ingredients in a large soup pot. Cook over high heat until salt and sugar are dissolved. Cool brine liquid to room temperature.

2. Place your thawed farm fresh Organic Valley Turkey into a large vessel (I used an insulated cooler). Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey cavity. Pour brine mixture over the thawed turkey and refrigerate for 24 hours. If there's not enough room in the fridge, use ice packs and an insulated cooler. You may have to use a weight (heavy plate) to keep the bird submerged in the brine.

3. After 24 hours: pour out the brine, rinse the bird and pat dry. Stuff the bird as you wish and apply Maple Ginger Glaze.

4. For the glaze: in a small heavy saucepan, over low-medium heat, saute garlic, onion, and ginger in butter for 4-6 minutes.

5. Add the remaining ingredients. Increase heat and allow to boil for 3 minutes, while stirring. Reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes to thicken the sauce, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and strain off the minced garlic, onion, and ginger. Cool to room temperature. Cover and keep in the fridge until needed. Please note: glaze may be prepared up to 2 days ahead.

6. To roast turkey: preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place prepared bird in roasting pan breast side up. Baste with Maple Ginger Glaze and cover wings and top of the turkey breast with foil to prevent excess browning. Baste when curious!

7. Cook until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh, or 170 in the breast. Plan for a 10-18 pound Organic Valley Turkey to roast for 3 hours to 4 1/4 hours or so. Please take internal temperatures with a meat thermometer prior to serving. Allow turkey to "rest" for 20-30 minutes before carving.

I heard about brining the Thanksgiving turkey from a foodie friend who had tried it last year. His family raved about it and vowed never to prepare the bird without the brine. Brining is quite simple as it allows the turkey to retain its natural juices and amplifies the tender texture of the bird. Fresh Organic Valley Turkeys are already bursting with juicy flavor, yet infused with this brine, you too may take the vow!

Our Maple Ginger Glaze graces the succulent brined turkey with a sweet bronze glow. The glaze blended with the natural cooking juices makes a rich, flavorful gravy that will delight the senses. Simple, beautiful, scrumptous... take a picture, it will last longer!

Due to food safety issues, I do not stuff the bird with actual edible "stuffing" until it's cooked. Before I place the turkey in the oven, I concoct a temporary stuffing made with the trimmings of the day, some seasonings and love. This time around I stuffed the turkey with 2 leftover oranges (from making the zest), 2 apples, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, garlic cloves, honey and a pinch of salt. Heaven.

Nutrition Information:
1530 Calories, 26g Fat (14.8% calories from fat), 3g Protein, 332g Carbohydrate, 2g Dietary Fiber, 84mg Cholesterol, 181163mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch), 1 1/2 Vegetable, 0 Fruit, 0 Fat, 20 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.