Herb Crusted Brined Turkey + “Gravy”

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups course sea salt (I like Real Salt)
  • 1 turkey, pasture raised or organic
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage
  • 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch of minced fresh thyme
  • 1 large lemon, cut into quarters
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic
  • ¼ cup of ghee, melted
  • filtered water (about 2 gallons or 128 ounces) 

Directions

  1. Make Brine: Dissolve the salt in the water in a large pot over low heat. Once salt is dissolved, place in refrigerator for at least two hours or until completely cold.
  2. Brine the Turkey: Rinse turkey, removing neck and giblets and reserving for another use. Place turkey in a large dish for brining, add liquid, and place in refrigerator (or keep cold with ice – see above) for 8 hours. After 8 hours, remove turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly. Optional: Pat dry with paper towels, place on wire rack over cookie sheet and put in refrigerator uncovered to dry for at least 6 hours.; Remove turkey from refrigerator about 1 hour before roasting.
  3. Heat the Oven: Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Add Veggies to the Turkey: Cut vegetables into large chunks. Scatter half of the vegetables in the roasting pan and add 1 cup water. Stuff turkey cavity with leftover vegetables, herbs, lemon, and garlic.
  5. Cook the Turkey: Bundle the turkey legs together with cooking twine and place turkey on roasting rack with the breast side down. Drizzle half of the ghee over the skin of the turkey. Place in oven and roast without opening the door for 40 minutes.
  6. Halfway Mark: After 40 minutes, remove turkey from oven. Using wadded up paper towels, carefully rotate the turkey so that it is breast side up. Drizzle with remaining ghee and return to oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Final Touches: After 20 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Use an instant read thermometer to monitor the temperature and remove from oven when turkey thigh has reached 170 degrees. For a 20-pound turkey, this stage will take about 60-90 minutes.
  8. Make the Gravy: Set turkey aside to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, while you make the gravy with leftover vegetables, turkey fat and ghee. Remove veggies with a spoon and set aside. Also separate the fat from the drippings (some fat will remain and get incorporated into the drippings, but if you don’t remove at least some of the excess fat, your gravy will be greasy).
  9. Blend the Gravy: Put vegetables and drippings into a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree until smooth. Place gravy into a sauce pan and let simmer while you carve the turkey.
  10. Season Accordingly: Adjust seasonings as needed or add a pinch of sea salt and adjust thickness by adding more water or broth if necessary.

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