Jive Turkey - Brined & Herbed Slow-Roasted Turkey

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Recipe by South Your Mouth

Jive Turkey & Homemade Gravy
Turkey:
1 18 lb. turkey*
2 gallons brine (recipe below)
Jive Turkey Seasoning (recipe below)

Brine:
2 gallons water, divided
4 onions, quartered
8 carrots, chopped
8 celery stalks, chopped
4 tablespoons dried thyme
4 tablespoons dried rosemary
1 cup table salt
1/2 cup sugar

Jive Turkey Seasoning:
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder

Turkey Gravy:
4 cups turkey stock/chicken broth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Salt & Pepper

For the brine:
Bring two quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add onions, carrots and celery then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for one hour.  Remove from heat and add thyme and rosemary.  Cover and cool to room temperature.  Once cool, add to a large stock pot, clean bucket or small cooler.

Add remaining water (6 quarts), salt and sugar to vegetable stock and stir to dissolve sugar.  Add turkey (neck and giblets removed from cavity and set aside for gravy if desired) to the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight (at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours).  If the weather is cool enough, I just set mine on the screened porch overnight.

*If you’re cooking a larger turkey and need more brine, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/4 cup sugar for every gallon of water needed to cover the turkey.  Also, cooking times are listed below for smaller or larger birds.

Cooking the turkey:
Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse inside and out.  Tie the legs together with kitchen string (or tuck them back into the skin as some manufacturers prep them).  Place the turkey BREAST-SIDE DOWN on a roasting rack (if you don’t have a roasting rack, rough-chop onions, celery and carrots and place on the bottom of the pan so that the turkey can rest on the veggies and not on the bottom of the pan).  Season the turkey with about 1/2 of the Jive Turkey Seasoning.  Add just enough water to the pan to cover the bottom.  Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, basting twice.

Remove the pan from the oven.  Using barbeque gloves or clean oven mitts, flip the turkey so that it is setting BREAST-SIDE UP in the pan.  Baste with pan juices and season with remaining Jive Turkey Seasoning.  Return the pan to the oven and continue cooking for an additional 3 hours or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees and skin is golden brown, basting every 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from oven. Remove turkey from pan (reserving pan juices for gravy), cover loosely with aluminum foil and allow the turkey to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

For the gravy:
Make a stock from the turkey neck and giblets if desired (pull the meat off the neck and chop with giblets to be added back to the gravy if desired, and set aside).  Pour reserved pan juices through a mesh strainer.  Combine reserved pan juices with homemade stock or chicken broth to measure 4 cups liquid (the fat will settle on the top - pour off the fat if possible).  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour to pan and whisk to incorporate.  Continue cooking and whisking 2-3 minutes or until roux is light brown.  Add stock/broth and continue whisking for 2-3 minutes or until gravy starts to thicken a little.  Add salt and pepper to taste (the pan juices from the Jive Turkey are on the salty side from the brine so taste first before adding salt).  Add chopped neck meat and giblets if desired.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until gravy has reduced and thickened.

BAKING TIMES AT 325 DEGREES (IN HOURS):
Turkey
Weight
Total
Cooking
Time
Breast-Side Down TimeBreast-Side Up Time
12 lbs.2.50 - 3.001.001.50 - 2.00
13 lbs.2.75 - 3.251.001.75 - 2.25
14 lbs.3.00 - 3.501.501.50 - 2.00
15 lbs.3.25 - 3.751.501.75 - 2.25
16 lbs.3.50 - 4.001.502.00 - 2.50
17 lbs.3.75 - 4.251.502.25 - 2.75
18 lbs.4.00 - 4.501.502.50 - 3.00
19 lbs.4.25 - 4.751.502.75 - 3.25
20 lbs.4.50 - 5.001.503.00 - 3.50
21 lbs.4.75 - 5.252.002.75 - 3.25
22 lbs.5.00 - 5.502.003.00 - 3.50
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