ROASTED TURKEY WITH VIN SANTO GRAVY
1 turkey (12-15 pounds, neck and gizzards reserved)
4 onions (peeled, quartered, divided)
1 cup olive oil (divided)
1 lemon (halved)
2 bunches sage leaves
1 cup saba
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 gallon water
1 cup sea salt
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 cups maple syrup
10 cloves garlic (smashed with skin on)
1 gallon ice water
2 cups apple cider
VIN SANTO GRAVY:
1/4 cup turkey drippings
1/4 cup flour
3 cups turkey stock
1/4 cup Vin Santo
For the Brine:
In a large stock pot, combine the water, sea salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, maple syrup and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, and stir frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
When the broth mixture is cool, pour it into a clean 5 gallon bucket or pot. Stir in the ice water and cider.
Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled and that the turkey is completely covered. Place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight but no longer than 12 hours. Remove the turkey and carefully drain off the excess bring and pat dry. Discard excess brine.
Remove the turkey from the brine, patting dry, and discard the excess brine.
For the Turkey: Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place half the onions, the neck and gizzards in the bottom of the roasting pan to serve as the rack. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Loosen the skin of the turkey and rub underneath the skin with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place 1 onion, 1 lemon and the bunch of sage into the cavity of the turkey. Fold the wings of the turkey under and tie the legs together with twine. Place on top of the onions and drizzle with olive oil salt and pepper.
Place in the oven and allow to cook at 425ºF for 30 minutes then reduce the oven to 350ºF to continue cooking until the thickest part of the thigh registers 180ºF and 165ºF in the breast, about 10-15 minutes per pound (2-4 hours). After 1 hour of cooking, brush the turkey with saba.
Remove from the oven to a cutting board, cover with foil and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. Then remove to a platter or break down into pieces and place on a platter and make the gravy.
To break down the turkey, first remove the leg by cutting through the skin and joint between the leg and breast. Pull the leg away from the body and continue to cut until the leg comes off in one piece. Cut through the joint between the thigh and the drumstick. Remove the bone of the thigh meat and slice the thigh meat into 1/2-inch thick slices. Repeat on the other side. Pull the wing away from the body and cut through the skin in the joint to remove from the bird. Separate the drummettes from the flats. Repeat with the second wing. Cut down the center of the breast and follow the breast bone to remove each breast in one piece. Slice each breast crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices.
For the Gravy: Place the roasting pan with 1/4 cup turkey drippings over medium heat. Add the flour, whisk to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes. Place a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the turkey stock to the roasting pan, whisking to combine. Allow to cook until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the wine to the hot empty sauce pot and allow to reduce slightly. Strain the gravy into the wine, discarding any solids. Whisk to combine and allow to reduce 1-2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over turkey.
Tip: If you prefer to stuff your turkey, make sure to assemble the stuffing right before stuffing it inside the turkey and placing the turkey in the oven. Stuffing should be slightly warm, do not cool or place stuffing in the refrigerator before placing inside of the turkey. When you think the turkey has finished cooking, make sure the stuffing is at a temperature of 165ºF before removing the turkey from the oven.