Turkey Lurkey

December 11, 2010

This Thanksgiving marked the roasting of my first turkey. I was very nervous — since I’d never prepared a large piece of meat like this. Bon Appetit got me through it just fine. I decided to attempt the Malt-Beer-Brined Turkey with Malt Glaze, and I’m glad I did! This Thanksgiving dinner featured one of the best turkeys I’ve ever had {Grandma’s can’t be topped} — and it was so moist, we didn’t use gravy.

My only worry, is how I’m going to top this bird next year!

Malt-Beer-Brined Turkey with Malt Glaze

Ingredients (I halved this recipe, since we had a 6.5lb turkey)

•2/3 cup barley malt syrup
•1/4 cup malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
•6 fresh sage sprigs
•4 fresh thyme sprigs
•1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
•2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
Brine, Turkey, and Aromatics
•4 quarts water
•2 cups Diamond Crystal coarse kosher salt or 1 1/2 cups Morton coarse kosher salt
•3 12-ounce bottles stout beer (I used Guinness)
•1 1/2 cups barley malt syrup
•1 14- to 16-pound turkey
•2 teaspoons ground black pepper
•2 peeled onions, quartered
•2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
•1 bunch fresh sage
•1 bunch fresh thyme
•1 unpeeled head of garlic, cut crosswise in half
•3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
•2 cups (or more) water

Special Equipment
•2 turkey-size oven bags
•Turkey lacing pins

The Technique: Beer-Brined
Brining—soaking the bird in salt water—creates juicy turkey. Here, stout beer and barley malt syrup add a richness to the brine, which infuses the meat with flavor. And the malt glaze gives the bird a crisp, burnished skin.
•Ingredient Info
Barley malt syrup has a flavor similar to molasses. Look for it at natural foods stores or buy it from edenfoods.com.  (I found it at Rainbow Grocery in Decatur, GA.)
•Bring malt syrup, vinegar, herbs, and pepper to boil in small saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer until glaze coats spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Mix in butter. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm before using.
Brine, Turkey, and Aromatics
•Pour 4 quarts water into 16-quart nonreactive bowl or pot. Add salt; stir to dissolve. Mix in beer and malt syrup. Insert 1 oven bag into second bag; place in large bowl. Rinse turkey inside and out. Slide turkey, breast side down, into doubled bag. Pour brine into bag. Press out any air; seal bags. Chill turkey in brine (still in bowl) 16 to 18 hours.
•Remove turkey from brine. Pat very dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Sprinkle main cavity with 2 teaspoons pepper; fill with onions, celery, sage, thyme, and garlic. Close cavity with turkey lacing pins. Tuck wing tips under; brush all over with oil.


A beautifully stuffed bird

•Set oven rack at lowest position; preheat to 350°F. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan; add 2 cups water.
•Roast turkey 2 hours. Brush with glaze; add water if pan is dry. Roast 30 minutes. Brush with glaze. Tent with foil if browning too quickly. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, 30 to 45 minutes. Brush with more glaze. Transfer to platter; let rest 30 minutes (temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).


No gravy necessary


4 Responses to “Turkey Lurkey”

  1. […] more: Turkey Lurkey « The Hand that Rocks the Ladle Related Posts:How to Pair Food and Beer Even the world's greatest experimental chef, elBulli's […]

  2. Nice text & picture, thank you.

  3. […] Entrée: Malt Beer Brined Turkey with Malt Glaze […]

  4. […] that Thanksgiving is upon us, everyone is looking for that perfect turkey recipe.   The one that will have everyone going back for seconds and thirds until it’s time to […]

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