Jamaican-Spiced Turkey

Jamaican-Spiced Turkey


For the brine:

  • 1 ¼cups kosher salt
  • ½cup granulated sugar
  • 5cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled
  • 1large Spanish or Vidalia onion, peeled and quartered
  • 20fresh thyme sprigs (or 2 tablespoons dried)
  • 8whole cloves
  • 1tablespoon allspice berries, lightly crushed
  • 2bay leaves
  • 6sage leaves
  • 1stick cinnamon
  • 5 to 6scallions, white and green parts, halved crosswise
  • 3 to 4juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 115- to 18-pound turkey (preferably heritage or pasture-raised)

For the herb-infused brown butter:

  • 1 ¼cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks)
  • 20fresh thyme sprigs
  • ¼cup chopped scallions (about 3), white and green parts

For the spice rub:

  • ½cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 2tablespoons allspice berries
  • 1tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • ½tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½dried mild or medium hot chile pepper (such as guajillo), stem removed, torn into pieces
  • ½teaspoon fennel seeds

For roasting:

  • 5scallions, trimmed
  • 3onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3celery stalks (with tops)
  • 2fennel bulbs (with stems and fronds), cut into thirds
  • 10garlic cloves
  • 3large carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • Nutritional Information
      • Nutritional analysis per serving (14 servings)

        1012 calories; 47 grams fat; 18 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 14 grams monounsaturated fat; 8 grams polyunsaturated fat; 24 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 12 grams sugars; 118 grams protein; 428 milligrams cholesterol; 8712 milligrams sodium

    Note: The information shown is DiningAndCooking.com’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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  1. Brine the turkey: Combine all the brine ingredients except the turkey in a large stock pot and add 1 gallon water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and stir in another 1/2 gallon water; let cool to room temperature. Place turkey breast-side-down in a container large enough to hold it and the brine. Add brine and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours. Remove from refrigerator about an hour before cooking and bring to room temperature.
  2. Make the herb butter: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 9 to 12 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning, until butter darkens to deep amber. Add thyme and scallions and remove from heat. (Butter may foam up; stir to keep it from foaming over.) Let steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain into a bowl, pressing out all the butter with a spatula. Allow butter to cool so it firms up, but is still a little soft and pliable. Stir butter while it cools to re-incorporate any bits that fall to the bottom.
  3. Make the spice rub: Combine all the rub ingredients in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Toast, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Let cool, then grind finely in a spice grinder or mortar.
  4. Roast the turkey: Heat oven to 475 degrees. Line a large roasting pan with the scallions, onions, celery, fennel, garlic and carrots and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour in stock.
  5. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry. Season cavity with about 1/2 tablespoon of the spice rub. Gently loosen the breast skin with your fingers as far down as you can go, being careful not to tear the skin. Spread almost all of the herb butter under the skin and smooth it out as evenly as possible by rubbing the skin. Rub remaining butter lightly over the rest of the turkey. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the spice rub all over turkey.
  6. Place turkey in pan on top of vegetables. Tuck the wings under turkey, and tie legs together with kitchen twine.
  7.  Roast turkey for 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and loosely cover with foil. Cook turkey, basting with the liquid in the pan every 45 minutes, until the leg feels loose in the socket and a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees. Start checking the temperature after about 2 hours. Depending on the size of your turkey, it may take up to 4 hours to cook through. Let sit 20 to 25 minutes before carving.

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