Apple Bourbon brine
Makes 2 quarts (I double this for my 20-22 pound bird)
4 cups apple cider (my Northwoods Apple Cider or store bought)
2 cups bourbon or other whiskey
½ cup coarse salt
½ cup granulated sugar
1 onion, quartered
3-4 bay leaves
In a clean 5- gallon bucket, combine the apple cider and bourbon. Whisk in the salt and sugar until dissolved. Add in the onion and the bay leaves.
Add your turkey and add enough water to cover and weigh down with a plate to submerge the bird in the brine. Refrigerate for up to 12 hours or overnight. Remove the turkey from the brine 1 hour before cooking and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine. Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Starting at the neck end, carefully loosen the skin from the breast with your fingers. Then, working from the cavity end, loosen the skin from the breasts and legs. Massage the spice-herb butter under the skin; massage any remaining butter into the outside of the skin. Truss the turkey. Surround the turkey with 3 large peeled and halved carrots, 4 ribs of celery & 2 peeled and quartered onions. We bake it according the turkey label.
Makes 1 cup (yes I double this too)
2 Tablespoons each, white peppercorns, fennel seeds, and coriander seeds- toasted
1 Tablespoon each, fresh rosemary, sage and thyme chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature.
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
In a spice grinder or blender, combine the peppercorns, fennel, and coriander seeds. Process into a coarse powder. In a small bowl, stir together the spice powder, chopped herbs, butter, granulated garlic, lemon zest and juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. This butter will keep one week in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.