Long after the last leaf has been raked and the apples have been gathered in, crisp nights meld into crisp days and the memory of warm apple cider doughnuts and fresh apple cider are still in your mind, you remember the ice cold cider you have been saving for just a time as this...
...and it is unpalatable. But it does make a delicious moist turkey.
Apple Cider-Brined Turkey
from Diane Morgan
2/3 c. kosher salt
2/3 c. sugar
6 quarter-size slices fresh ginger or 1 t. ground ginger
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves
1 t. black peppercorns, crushed
2 t. whole allspice berries, crushed or 1 t. ground allspice
8 c. apple cider or juice
2 oranges, quartered
In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, put salt, sugar, ginger, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and allspice. Add apple cider or juice and stir to combine. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until salt and sugar have dissolved. Boil for 3 min. then remove from heat. Add 4 c. of ice cold water, stir and set aside to cool.
Place plastic turkey-size oven bag inside a second bag, then place in a large stockpot. The stockpot will hold the bags and turkey for you. Position bags so they are wide open and fold the top of bags over the stockpot. Remove turkey from its wrappings. Remove neck and bag of giblets. Stuff main cavity of turkey with orange quarters. Place turkey inside bags. Pour brine over turkey. Add another 2 c. cold water. Draw up top of inner bag, squeezing out as much air as possible; secure it with a twist tie. Do the same for outer bag. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.
Just before roasting, remove turkey from brine. Discard bags, brine and any cured herbs or spices remaining on bird. Discard oranges and ginger. Rinse turkey under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add 1 c. of water to pan. Cover and roast 300-325 until done. Uncover the last few minutes to brown turkey.