The leaves are falling, their is a definite chill in the air and it will soon be time to gather loved ones around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving and kick off the holiday season for 2013. I can’t think of a better centerpiece for your Thanksgiving than this spiced pomegranate molasses glazed turkey. One of the most important aspects of making this recipe is in the shopping for the turkey. I suggest first and foremost that it’s fresh and second if possible organic. Preparing a fresh turkey makes a big difference in the end result and I find it’s definitely worth both the cost and the effort. The brining process works best with a turkey that has no additives since the additives often include salt solutions. I have found the a fresh turkey such as Bell and Evans works deliciously. I’ll be posting additional recipes all month so that you have a perfect Thanksgiving meal to share with friends and family when the big day arrives!
From by the bay wishing you pomegranate glazed food memories!
Spiced Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Turkey
1 16-18 lb. turkey, preferably organic
16 cups cold water, or more to cover turkey
1 cup fine sea salt
1 cup light brown sugar
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 onions , peeled and quartered
3 sprigs rosemary
To roast turkey
2 oranges, cut in half
1 pomegranate cut in half
1 bunch rosemary
2 tablespoons fine grey sea salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
8 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Prepare brine by combining water, sea salt, sugar and peppercorns. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Then add to the brine the garlic, oranges, onions and rosemary. Clean turkey with cold water removing any giblets and or neck. Keep giblets and neck in the refrigerator to use later for gravy base. Place turkey and brine into a resealable plastic bag or into a large non reactive bowl covered with plastic wrap. The turkey should be covered with the brine, if not add more water. Refrigerate over night. The next day remove the turkey 40 minutes before planning to place into the oven. Preheat oven to 425F. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels inside and out. Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity of the turkey with the oranges, pomegranate and rosemary. Tie turkey legs together and place into roasting pan. In a small sauce pan melt butter, mustard and pomegranate molasses together on a low heat. Use this to baste turkey once before placing into the oven. Roast the turkey at 425F for 30 minutes then lower the oven to 350F. For an 18lb turkey cooking time will be approximately 3 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check that the meat registers 175F at its thickest part of the thigh. Baste the turkey about every 30 minutes with the butter and syrup mixture. If the turkey browns too quickly tent that part with aluminum foil. When ready remove from the oven. Take turkey from the roasting pan and place on a cutting board to rest before carving, at least 20 minutes. If you are serving later then 20 minutes from removing from oven tent turkey with aluminum foil until ready to serve.