7 qt water
1 qt Apple cider vinegar
2 cp Coarse salt
1 cp Honey
2 bn Thyme (fresh)
2 hd Garlic (with the tops sliced off like for roasting)
4 tbl Black peppercorns
2 cp Brown sugar
2 Lemons, halved
2 bn Thyme (fresh)
1 stk Softened butter
20 lb Ice
Butcher’s twine to make a turkey lifter
Over high heat, stir water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and honey in large pot until salt and honey dissolve.
Then add the rest of the brine ingredients
Bring to a soft boil then reduce heat
simmer for about 20 minutes.
WAIT UNTIL BRINE COOLS!
Clean turkey removing neck, giblets, etc…
Place Turkey in a double unscented clean trash bag inside a cooler
Pour COLD brine over turkey. Gather plastic bag tightly around turkey so that bird is covered with brine; seal bag. Cover with ice.
Chill the turkey in brine at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours. Seal it shut and leave it until you are ready to cook.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 475.
Drain turkey well; discard brine.
Pat turkey dry inside and out. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into main cavity. Add lemon rinds and remaining 2 bunches fresh thyme to main cavity. Rub the whole thing down with butter.
Place turkey lifter on the rack.
Insert thermometer from the top of the turkey (near the neck cavity) horizontally to the deepest part of the breast, making sure it’s not touching the bone.
Wrap the wingtips and drumstick tips with foil, place thermometer
Tuck wings under turkey; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Salt/pepper the bird.
Loosely tent the turkey with aluminum foil
Roast turkey 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 225 until thermometer registers 155°F.
Remove all foil, glaze turkey, place back into oven until temp reaches 160°F.
Remove from oven, tent turkey loosely with foil and let stand 30 minutes.
25 pound frozen weight turkey should take about 11 hours.
Willie Cash’s Apricot Glaze
1 Stick Butter
1 Small jar apricot preserves
2 clv Minced garlic
2 medium shallots, minced
½ cp Yellow onion minced
1 Tb Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
1 shot of bourbon
Sautee onions and garlic in butter
Add in other ingredients, (except bourbon) simmer a couple of minutes
Take off heat and stir in bourbon