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Maple-Rosemary Roast Turkey

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman 


For the Brine:
2 12 1/2-ounce bottles pure maple syrup (about 3 cups)
1 c. kosher salt
3 tbsp. tricolor peppercorns 
5 bay leaves
5 garlic cloves, minced
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped off
Peel of 3 large oranges, cut into large strips
Peel of 4 apples (2 red, 2 green)

1 12- to 14-pound turkey, thawed if frozen (neck and giblets removed)
2 sticks salted butter, melted
1/4 c. pure maple syrup


1) For the brine: Combine the maple syrup, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, rosemary, orange and apple peels and 12 cups water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt, then turn off the heat and cover. Let cool completely, about 1 hour, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 more hour.

2) For the turkey: Place the turkey in a large brining bag or large pot. Pour the brine over the turkey and add enough cold water to cover. Refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.

3) When ready to roast, preheat the oven to 275 ?. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Place breast-side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Tuck the wings under the body, then tie the legs together with kitchen string. Cover the pan with heavy-duty foil and roast for about 10 minutes per pound (so, about 2 hours for a 12-pound turkey).

4) Remove the turkey from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 375 ?. Uncover the turkey and brush with some of the melted butter, getting it into all of the crevices. Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, near the hip joint. Return to the oven, uncovered, and continue roasting, brushing with more butter every 30 minutes, until the thermometer reaches 165 ? to 168 ?, 1 to 1 1/2 more hours. About 15 minutes before the turkey is done, brush with the maple syrup.

5) Remove the turkey from the oven and tent with foil until you are ready to carve it, at least 20 minutes. Reserve the pan drippings for the gravy.

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