For the brine:
4 cups 100 percent pomegranate juice
16 cups water
1 cup coarse kosher salt
15 black peppercorns, slightly crushed
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
1 tablespoon sage
For the turkey:
1 12 to 15-pound turkey, thawed if purchased frozen
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons sage
2 teaspoons rosemary
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons crushed black peppercorns
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onions
For the glaze:
3 cups 100 percent pomegranate juice
1/2 cup arils from 1 large pomegranate
Black pepper to taste
For the gravy:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
To prepare the turkey: Line a pot large enough to hold brine and turkey with a food-safe plastic bag. Combine brine ingredients in the bag, making sure all salt has been fully dissolved. Place turkey breast-side down in the brine; cover and refrigerate 8 to 10 hours or overnight.
Score 1 fresh pomegranate and place in a bowl of water. Break open the pomegranate under water to free arils (seed sacks). The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top. Sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup arils from fruit and set aside. Refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use.
Coat outside skin with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Combine sage, rosemary, thyme, poultry seasoning, and crushed black peppercorns. Rub turkey inside and outside with herb mixture. Place chopped vegetables in a shallow roasting pan. Place turkey on top of vegetables. Roast at 325 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes per pound (internal temperature should read 170 degrees when a meat thermometer is inserted in thigh area).
To prepare the glaze: In a saucepan, reduce 3 cups pomegranate juice by half to make glaze. Mix with black pepper and arils. Cover turkey with pomegranate glaze and allow to rest covered with foil for 20 minutes before carving. Prepare gravy while turkey is resting.
To prepare the gravy: Remove turkey from pan. Place vegetables in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons of flour to pan drippings in the roasting pan. Place roasting pan on stove top over medium heat. Cook drippings and flour for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate flour with drippings. Add processed vegetables and 3 cups chicken broth. Cook to desired consistency. Gravy can be thinned by adding more chicken broth.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Source: POM Wonderful 100 percent Pomegranate Juice
1 onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 cups unseasoned stuffing cubes
1 14 to 16-pound turkey
In a large skillet, saute onions and celery in butter until tender. Add broth and seasonings; mix well. Place bread cubes in a large bowl; add onion mixture and toss to coat. Stir in enough warm water to reach desired moistness. Just before baking, loosely stuff turkey, if desired (or bake all stuffing in a casserole dish). Place any remaining stuffing in a greased baking dish; cover and refrigerate. Remove dish from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together with kitchen string. Place breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake turkey uncovered at 325 degrees for 3 3/4 to 4 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees for the turkey and 165 degrees for the stuffing. Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns to quickly. Bake additional stuffing, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned.
Cover turkey with foil and let stand for 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving. If desired, thicken pan drippings for gravy.
Yield: 12 servings
Source: Adapted from The Taste of Home Cookbook (Reader's Digest, $29.95)