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Brined Turkey with Fall Vegetables

A long soak in a seasoned saltwater brine ensures the turkey will emerge juicy and flavorful. The salt penetrates the meat, drawing in moisture and other seasonings. As the bird roasts, it is brushed with maple butter, which promotes a crispy, golden brown skin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh turkey, about 16 lb., brined in a brining
     bag with brine blend for 6 to 24 hours
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into eighths
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 large acorn squash, halved, seeded and cut
     into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Remove the turkey from the brining bag, rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a flat rack in a large roasting pan. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and 8 Tbs. of the butter. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the onions, carrots, parsnips, squash, the remaining 4 Tbs. butter, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F.

Roast the turkey for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and roast for 45 minutes more, then begin basting the turkey every 30 minutes with the maple butter. After 2 1/2 hours of total roasting time, place the vegetables on the roasting rack. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, away from the bone, registers 165°F and the thigh registers 175°F. Total roasting time should be 3 to 3 3/4 hours.

Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Increase the oven temperature to 375°F and continue roasting the vegetables until tender. Mix the vegetables with the pan drippings and transfer to a serving dish. Carve the turkey and pass the vegetables alongside. Serves 12 to 16.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.