Slow Cooker Cranberry Butter:
- Combine all ingredients into a 4-quart slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or until very broken down. Remove cinnamon stick.
- Transfer to food processor and combine until smooth (you will see a colour change!)
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Notes: Cook-time may vary depending on slow cooker. If you prefer a bit of chunkiness to your butter, do not puree until completely smooth.
- Combine sugar, salt, 1 cup cranberries, and 8 cups water into a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until salt and sugar dissolve completely. No need to boil! Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Place turkey into brining bag or large stock pot that does not react to water, salt, etc. Pour sugar-water over top along with onions, celery, apples, garlic, carrot, sage, black pepper, and remaining cranberries. Begin adding water until turkey is submerged (you may need to place a heavy plate or weight on top of the turkey so it does not float.)
- Cover and place into refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Drain and pat turkey dry. Move to large plate and allow to sit, uncovered, in refrigerator overnight. Note: This is not necessary but helps with nice, crispy skin!
Notes: Don't stress about the brine ingredients! Throw in everything but the kitchen sink (also a great recipe to use up not-so-pretty produce.) Cook & prep-time do not include brining, cranberry butter, resting, or overnight refrigeration times.
- Combine cranberry butter and butter into a mixing bowl and whip until combined (a hand-mixer works great.)
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Place turkey into roasting pan with elevated rack and pour 2-4 cups water in the bottom of the pan (turkey is lean so drippings can be sparse. Add more throughout cooking if necessary.)
- Place into oven, uncovered, and lower heat to 325°F. Cook for 1 hour. Remove from heat and baste with 1/3 of the butter mixture.
- Return to oven and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 170°F. Make sure to baste two more times with your butter! Turkey took about 2 1/2 - 3 hours but brined turkeys cook faster!! Refer to this chart for cook-time. Unstuffed vs stuffed comes into play, too.
- Cover turkey in aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Slice and serve with additional cranberry butter if desired!