RECIPE

Slow-Smoked Apple-Glazed Turkey

We had a lot of people for dinner and I made a ton of food. We started with Caponata (page 27) on crostini, Deviled Ham (page 46) on toast points, and my Deviled Eggs (page 29). We had Slow-Smoked Apple-Glazed Turkey (which we brined the day before); Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage Butter, Pan Stuffing, and Pan Gravy (recipes follow); Basic Cranberry Sauce (page 167); Applesauce with Fresh Thyme (page 208); and Kale & Caramelized Shallot au Gratin . I also made an Apple Galette (recipe follows) for dessert.

Slow-Smoked Apple-Glazed Turkey

Whenever you take turkey breast or a whole turkey out of the oven or smoker, cover it with foil first and then a couple of heavy kitchen towels—that will keep it warm for a good long time.

Ingredients

TURKEY & BRINE

  • 1 1/2 quarts cloudy apple cider
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • Fresh herb bundle: bay leaf with sage, thyme, and parsley sprigs
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  • 1 (7-pound) skin-on, bone-in turkey breast
  • Wood chips, for smoking (optional)
  • EVOO
  • Pepper

GLAZE

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup cloudy apple cider
  • 1/3 cup dark amber maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup chicken or turkey stock
  • A few black peppercorns
  • A big strip of orange zest

Preparation

Make the brine: Combine the cider, brown sugar, salt, herb bundle, orange slices, garlic, and peppercorns in a large saucepan. Heat the ingredients to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the ice cubes to cool it down, but let cool completely before brining the turkey.

Place the turkey in 2 1/2-gallon resealable plastic bag and add the cooled brine. Let brine for several hours in the fridge, preferably overnight.

If cooking on an outdoor grill or smoker, soak the wood chips. For a smoker, add the chips to charcoal briquettes or make a foil pouch for a gas grill. If using a conventional oven, preheat the oven to 325°F. Heat a smoker or grill to 300° to 325°F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. Rub the skin with EVOO and season with ground pepper. If using a conventional oven, set the turkey on a wire rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet. Smoke or roast for 15 minutes per pound, basting with the glaze (see next step) for the last half of the cooking time.

Make the glaze: Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and cook at a simmer to reduce by half. Use it to baste the turkey for the last 45 minutes to 1 hour.

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