Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.
3/4 gallon water
2 cups white wine
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped ginger
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 (6-pound) whole turkey breast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1/3 cup chopped ginger
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
Combine all of the brining liquid ingredients in a large non-reactive container (a stockpot works well for this) and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Rinse the turkey well under cold running water. Place the turkey in the brine, cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
While the bird is brining, make the cranberry glaze by combining the cranberries, ginger, orange zest, sugar, orange juice, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cranberries burst and sauce is very thick. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a mixing bowl to cool. When cooled, add the liqueur and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to glaze the bird. (Make sure to return the glaze to room temperature before serving. If the glaze gets too thick, thin it with a bit of water.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Place the turkey, breast side up, in an aluminum foil lined roasting pan. Pat dry with paper towels. Rub the turkey with the vegetable oil and sprinkle on all sides with Essence.
Roast the turkey until it is golden brown and almost done, about 1 hour and 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven and brush all over with about 1/3 cup of the cranberry glaze. Return the turkey to the oven and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 160 to 165 degrees F, about 10 minutes longer. (If the turkey begins to get too dark before it is cooked through, cover loosely with aluminum foil until it reaches the desired temperature. Transfer to a platter and let rest at least 15 minutes before carving.
Carve into thin slices. Serve with the remaining glaze passed at the table.
8 to 10 servings.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
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