Cider-Brined Turkey with Sage Gravy
For the turkey:
12- to 14-lb. turkey
½ gallon apple cider
½ c. kosher salt
½ c. packed brown sugar
½ c. minced fresh sage
1 T. crushed black peppercorns
For the gravy:
¼ c. white wine
2 c. low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
3 T. instant flour, such as Wondra
3 T. finely chopped fresh sage
Salt and ground black pepper
Place a 2﻿½ -gallon zip-close plastic bag upright in a large bowl. Place the turkey in the bowl, then pour in the cider, salt, brown sugar, sage and peppercorns. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much as possible as you do so. Massage the bag to mix the ingredients in the liquid. Refrigerate and let brine for a minimum of 8 hours, turning the turkey now and again.
When ready to roast, heat the oven to 350°. Fit a roasting pan with a rack.
Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, then set it onto the roasting rack. Roast for 2 to 2﻿½ hours, or until the temperature of the breast reaches 160° and the thighs reach 170°. If the turkey begins to darken too much, cover it loosely with foil.
Transfer the turkey to a serving platter, wrap with foil, then set a couple layers of bath towels over it to keep it warm.
Remove the rack from the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan over medium heat on the stove top (you may need two burners) and bring the juices to a simmer. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the broth into the pan, whisking continuously. Then add the flour and whisk to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes, while continuing to stir. Season with sage, salt and black pepper.
Boursin Mashed Potatoes
3﻿½ lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks
½ c. half and half
2 packages (5.2 oz. each) Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs
¼ t. salt
⅛ t. ground black pepper