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Brined Roast Turkey

A good old-fashioned wild or free-range turkey has to cook long and slow.  Soaking the turkey in brine and then cooking it very long and slow is a wonderful way to make such a turkey truly succulent.  Here's how I prepared the turkey for our Second Annual Gluten-Free Holiday FEAST.

one 24 pound turkey

1 cup "dirty" rock salt
1 cup cane sucanat
1 tbsp whole cloves
1 tbsp whole black and white pepper
1 tbsp whole allspice
2 tbsp whole mustard seed
2 tbsp whole coriander
10 bay leaves, crumpled
handful fresh sage leaves
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 quart natural apple cider

dried apricots
fresh sage

1.  Put all the brining ingredients in a clean 5 gallon plastic bucket.  You want to use something that does not react, no metal allowed.  Make room in the bottom of the refrigerator for the bucket.  You will need to take out some bottom drawers to fit it in.  Fill half full with water.  Stir it around.  Put the turkey in breast side down with legs sticking up.  Stir around again.  Fill the bucket all the way to the top.  Cover with plastic and put in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Stir the turkey occasionally to mix the spices.

2.  Drain the turkey.  Stuff it with dried apricots, sage, pepper and salt.  Place breast side down in a roasting pan.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Roast in a 300 degree oven until it is not quite done, about 8 hours.  Take it out of the oven and flip it over.  Put it back in and roast at 350 degrees until the skin crisps up, about 30 to 45 minutes.  Take out and enjoy!

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