Cider Brined Turkey Thighs with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Cider Brined Turkey Thighs (with gravy)
This brine is perfect, you can make more to brine a whole turkey, or even just a breast or split breast. Perfect for feeding 4-6 people without fussing with a whole turkey.
Brine:
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup salt (or a bit less)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4-6 turkey thighs
  • *water to cover
For Cooking:
  • 2 tablespoons butter/oil
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • *pepper

In a large air tight bag or plastic container combine brine ingredients and stir until combined. You can boil this mixture and cool it fully as well if you’d like. Place in the refrigerator 4-6 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take turkey out of the brine, reserve a few tablespoons to put in the pot later if you’d like. I used it to season my liquid however if you use too much it could be too salty. Melt butter and/or oil in a large oven proof skillet or dutch oven. Sprinkle the turkey with pepper and brown on both sides. (about 4 minutes per side). Cover with apple cider and put on the lid. Bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours depending how large your turkey is. The temperature should read about 165 degrees. Remove from pan and tent with foil to keep warm and rest. Reserve the liquid for gravy.

Gravy:
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • braising liquid from the turkey
  • 1 cup chicken stock or milk (as needed)

In the pan the turkey was cooked melt butter and slowly whisk in the flour. Cook 2-3 minutes to prevent a raw floury taste. Slowly whisk in all of the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Add chicken stock to thin out as needed until the gravy is your desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon each if you did not add any brine liquid)

Roasted Vegetables:
  • 1 pound brussel sprouts
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil/butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • red wine vinegar, candied or glazed walnuts

Drizzle some olive oil onto a cookie sheet/baking pan. Clean brussel sprouts and asparagus removing any hard or browned leaves from the sprouts and trim off approximately 2 inches from the bottom of the asparagus spears. You can tell where to cut them by holding the asparagus on both ends and gently snapping it. Where the asparagus breaks is where you should cut all the spears. Place in a single layer on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Roll around to coat with oil and seasoning. Bake 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned. To serve toss with walnuts or pecans and a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar (optional)

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