Orange and Maple Roasted Turkey
1/2 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup salt
10 black peppercorns, whole
1 Medium orange, peeled and juiced
1 Gallon cold water
2 bay leaves
2 Sprigs fresh rosemary
4 Sprigs fresh thyme
2 Medium carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 Medium white onions, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 12-pound WHOLE TURKEY, fresh or thawed
1 Pound unsalted butter, softened
2 Medium oranges, juiced
1-1/2 Teaspoons salt
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1/2 Cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients, except turkey, in large pot and simmer over low heat for 1½ hours. Chill brine in ice bath until cold. Place whole turkey into foodservice-safe grade container. Pour chilled brine over top to submerge. Close bag and cover. Marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Remove turkey from brine, drain excess liquid.
Place vegetables and herbs in body cavity and secure.
Combine butter, orange juice, salt, pepper, maple syrup, rosemary, thyme and garlic in a large bowl.
With fingers, slowly massage the compound butter into the skin of the turkey until well absorbed.
Fold wings under the back of the turkey and return legs to the tucked position. Turkey may be cooked in a 325 degree F oven or on a rotisserie.
If roasting in a thermal oven, cook on a rack for approximately 3 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh.
If cooking by the rotisserie method, thread turkey evenly on the rotisserie-spit fork using a counterweight to achieve an even balance. Place a drip pan in the center of the grill beneath the area where the turkey juices will drip. Cook the turkey over indirect medium heat in a covered rotisserie.
If cooking with charcoal, replenish briquettes with about 15 briquettes every hour, as needed, to maintain medium heat. Cook until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh (about 3 hours).
Allow turkey to rest for about 15 minutes. Remove vegetables and herbs from the cavity prior to carving. Place slices on a platter and garnish with oranges.