Aired October 25, 2012
1 quart apple cider
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
A small handful sage leaves
A small handful thyme sprigs
A handful parsley
1 large shallot or small onion, quartered
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 orange, sliced
A few handfuls apple or hickory wood chips, optional
7 to 8 pounds fresh turkey breast
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper
1 large butternut squash, halved, seeded and cut into slices 1/2-inch thick (skin left on)
Olive oil cooking spray
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
Freshly grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter
24 sage leaves
Suggested green vegetable: wilted spinach or sauted kale
For the brine, heat ingredients in a saucepot to dissolve sugar and salt then cool completely.
Place turkey in 2.5-gallon plastic bag and add brine. Let rest several hours, preferably overnight.
If cooking on an outdoor grill or smoker, soak wood chips. For a smoker, add chips to charcoal briquettes or make a foil pouch for gas grill. If using a conventional oven, set turkey on a metal rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet and preheat oven to 325F. Heat smoker or grill to 300F-325F.
Remove turkey from the brine and pat dry. Rub skin with oil and season with ground pepper. Smoke or roast 15 minutes per pound.
For the squash, heat oven to 425F. Arrange on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and roast slices 25-30 minutes until golden.
Boil the cranberries, sugar, pinch of salt and 1 cup of water until they burst. Transfer to a dish and cool to room temp.
Melt butter and when it foams fry sage leaves to crisp, remove to drain then chop. Brown the butter until nutty and fragrant.
Turn squash in brown butter, top with sage.
Serve sliced smoked turkey with cranberry sauce and squash, wilted spinach or sauted kale alongside.