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Spice-cured Turkey

4 cups coarse salt (or 1 cup when using a sodium enhanced turkey)
5 cups sugar
2 carrots, peeled and cut up
2 stalks celery, cut up
2 onions, cut up
3 bay leaves
1 head garlic, cut up (or 3 tbsp jarred garlic)
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon clove
2 teaspoons whole allspice
8 cups water
18 -20 lbs turkey (I used a breast and it was delicious)
prepared stuffing (optional)
1 cup softened unsalted butter
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
14 teaspoon ground allspice
14 teaspoon ground cloves
14 teaspoon ground nutmeg


To make the brine-- In a large stockpot combine first 13 ingredients and bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool COMPLETELY. This can be made a day in advance. Rinse turkey and pat dry. Place in a large pot, or even a plastic tub big enough to hold turkey, but small enough to fit in your refrigerator. Add brine and enough water to cover. Cover container and allow to marinate overnight. Remove turkey from the brine and drain. Make spice butter by combining ingredients and mixing well. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stuff turkey (if desired). Rub turkey with spice butter and place in roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes then reduce heat to 390 degrees. Rotate pan every 30 minutes, baste as needed until the temperature reaches 180 degrees in the thigh (or if you used a breast, 160 degrees). If needed cover areas with foil to prevent overbrowning. Allow to rest 30 minutes before carving. This is a VERY juicy turkey recipe (you may need goggles while you cut it... haha).

Source: www.food.com