For those of you who love Victory Brewing Company’s beers so much that you want them in your Thanksgiving meal, look no further. Rustle up this crowd-pleasing recipe that incorporates a seasonal favorite — Winter Cheers — into your bird’s brine and gravy. Spoiler alert: Winter Cheers’ fruity bouquet with hints of banana, clove and citrus will make your turkey out-of-this-world delicious.
Winter Cheers-Brined Turkey Breast with Winter Cheers Gravy
- 9 bottles Victory Winter Cheers beer, divided
- 1/2 cup salt plus 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns, crushed
- 4 sprigs fresh sage
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 turkey breast, on the bone, about 6 to 8 pounds
- 4 celery stalks, cut in half
- 1 large onion, diced in 1-inch chunks
- 2 apples, large dice
- 1 stick butter plus 2 tablespoons, divided and softened
- 1 shallot, minced, about 1/2 cup
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 2 tablespoons flour
- To make the brine, combine 6 bottles of Winter Cheers and 1/2 cup salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and fresh sage and thyme in large pot on low heat. Heat just until salt and sugar dissolve, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Place turkey in a plastic container that fits the turkey without too much extra space. Pour brine over turkey, making sure turkey is completely submerged. Cover with airtight lid, make sure it is sealed. Refrigerate turkey in brine for 16 to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange celery, onion and apples on bottom of large roasting pan, positioning them so the turkey can sit on top of vegetables.
- Remove turkey from brine and discard liquid. Place turkey on top of vegetables. Pour 2 bottles of Winter Cheers into the roasting pan, around the vegetables.
- Using your fingers, separate, but don’t remove, turkey’s skin from meat. Slide pieces of butter under skin all around turkey. Season top of the skin with about 2 teaspoons salt.
- Place turkey in the oven. After about 30 minutes, lower temperature to 300°F. Roast turkey for about another 2-1/2 hours, or until the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F.
- Remove turkey from oven and rest for about 15 minutes. Transfer turkey to cutting board or serving platter. Pour remaining liquid and vegetables into a bowl and pass through strainer, removing as much liquid as possible. Discard remaining vegetable pieces.
- In medium sauce pot, melt butter. Add shallot and ground sage and sauté until shallots are soft, about 2 minutes. Add flour to the pot and whisk to combine. Pour remaining Winter Cheers into pot and whisk to combine. Cook about 5 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Add strained pan drippings to pot and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve turkey with gravy and traditional sides.