- 1 12-15 pound fresh whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
- 6 large stalks celery
- 1 large yellow onion, quartered
- 1 quart (4 cups) plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
- 1 cup dry Riesling wine
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 quart (4 cups) and 6 quarts (24 cups) water, divided
- 1 1/4 cups sea salt, or kosher salt
- 1 cup golden brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground mustard
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds
- 5-6 sprigs rosemary
- 5-6 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons juniper berries
- 3 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups dry Riesling wine
- In a 2 quart saucepan, add all of the brine ingredients except 6 quarts (24 cups) water and 1 1/2 cups dry Riesling wine. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from heat, and set aside.
- In a 5 gallon stockpot or bucket, place the turkey neck side down and pour the brine over the turkey followed by the 1 1/2 cups Riesling wine and 6 quarts (24 cups) water. Refrigerate overnight or in a large cooler with ice for 12 to 15 hours.
- Line the bottom of the roasting pan with the onions and celery stalks. Add the butter and fill the pan with 1 quart (4 cups). Place the roasting rack on top of the pan.
- Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse, and place the turkey onto the roasting rack breast side up. Tuck the wings under the turkey.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cover the whole turkey with foil and cook for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325°F and cook until internal temperature at the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F. Tip: For every pound of turkey, add 13 minutes to your cooking time. Remove the foil during the last 30 minutes of cooking to make it brown evenly.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the turkey to a serving platter, and cover with aluminum foil. Let the turkey rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the roasting pan rack, onions and celery. Strain the pan juices through a sieve into a 2 quart saucepan and add 1 cup of dry Riesling wine. Cook the sauce on medium-high heat until boiling. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by 1/2 cup.
- Whisk 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Add more cornstarch mixture as needed to get the desired consistency. Yields approximately 4 cups of gravy.