Main Dish

Apple-Poblano Whole Roast Turkey


From Linda Cicero’s Cook’s Corner Column

Main Dish

Apple-Poblano Whole Roast Turkey

For the brine

8 cups apple cider

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup kosher salt

2 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed

1 jalapeño pepper, quartered lengthwise

For the turkey

1 (12-pound) organic fresh turkey

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

3 Gala apples, quartered

2 poblano chiles, quartered and seeded

1 cup cilantro leaves

Cooking spray

3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups chopped onion

5 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 cup flour

1 cup apple cider

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Combine brine ingredients with 8 cups water and set aside.

Remove turkey giblets and neck; reserve. Trim excess fat. Place a turkey-sized oven bag inside a second bag to form a double thickness. Place bags in a large stockpot. Place turkey inside inner bag. Add brine. Secure bags with several twist ties. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Remove turkey from bags; discard brine. Pat turkey dry. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

Combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar, salt, oregano, cumin, black and red peppers and coriander in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture under loosened skin over flesh.

Place 1 apple quarter and 1 poblano quarter in the neck cavity; close skin flap. Arrange 5 apple quarters, 1 poblano quarter and 1 cup cilantro leaves in the body cavity. Secure legs with kitchen twine.

Arrange turkey, neck, and giblets on the rack of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange remaining 6 apple quarters and 6 poblano quarters in bottom of roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Place rack with turkey in pan. Roast at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees (do not remove turkey from oven). Place a foil tent over turkey breast. Pour 3 cups water in bottom of pan.

Roast turkey at 350 for 40 minutes. Rotate turkey and baste with 3/4 cup broth. Roast for 30 minutes; rotate turkey. Baste with 3/4 cup broth. Roast 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. Remove from oven.

Place turkey, breast side down, on a jelly-roll pan or cutting board. Let stand, covered, for 30 minutes.

Chop giblets. Discard neck. Strain pan drippings through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in reserved chopped giblets and garlic; sauté 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add drippings, remaining 11/2 cups broth, and 1 cup apple cider; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 3 cups (about 15 minutes). Strain through a sieve over a bowl, and discard solids. Stir in chopped cilantro and lime juice.

Discard turkey skin. Carve meat and serve with gravy. Makes 12 servings.

Per serving: 302 calories, 3.4 g fat (1.7 g saturated fat, 0.5 g monounsaturated fat, 0.8 g polyunsaturated fat), 154 mg cholesterol, 55 g protein, 9.7 g carbohydrate, 0.6 g fiber, 637 mg sodium.

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