Cajun Roasted Turkey & Gravy

4Serves 8. Recipe is by chef Curtis Stone.

4Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Brining Time: 12 hours

4Cajun Spice Mixture

42 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

4 teaspoons cayenne pepper

4In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients. Can be made up to a week ahead; store airtight at room temperature.

4

4Turkey & Gravy

46 quarters cold water

One 12-ounce bottle amber ale beer, room temperature

1 cup kosher salt

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 rosemary sprigs, divided

One 14- to 16-pound whole turkey

3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

2 green bell peppers, seeded, coarsely chopped

2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped

¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, divided

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock

3 thyme sprigs ¼ cup all-purpose flour

4

To brine the turkey

1. In a large pot, bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add beer, salt, sugar and 1/3 cup spice mixture and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add 2 rosemary sprigs and remove from heat.

2. Pour the hot brine into a container large enough to hold the turkey and add the remaining 5 quarts of cold water. Submerge the turkey in the brine, cover the container and refrigerate for about 12 hours.

4Turkey

41. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Remove turkey from brine, reserving rosemary sprigs, and pat it dry. Stuff the cavity with half the chopped celery, bell pepper, onion and brined rosemary sprigs, and tie the turkey legs together with twine.

3. In a small saucepan, melt ½ cup of butter. Remove pan from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of spice mixture.

4. Place the remaining celery, bell pepper, and onion in a large roasting pan. Place the turkey on a roasting rack on top of the pan. Brush some spiced butter all over the turkey.

5. Cover with foil and roast for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Baste and continue roasting uncovered for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.

6. Rest the turkey on a carving board for 30 minutes before carving. Reserve the roasting pan.

4Gravy

41. Add chicken stock, thyme and remaining rosemary to the drippings in the pan, and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often. Strain and discard the solids. Spoon off the fat.

2. In a saucepan, melt the remaining ¼ cup of butter. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons of spice mixture and cook for 30 seconds.

3. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the pan juices and bring the mixture to a simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the gravy thickens slightly. Season to taste.