Cooking note: (C=0g), (P=0g) and (F=0g) indicate the total carbohydrates, total protein & total fiber in grams for the ingredient listed. This recipe has about 11 grams of carbohydrates, 42 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving.
One fresh turkey, about 12 pounds (C=0g) (P=40g per 6-ounce serving)
For the curing brine:
2 cups Splenda (C=0g as only a small amount is absorbed)
2 cups Kosher salt (C=0g)
2 gallons water (C=0g)
1/4 cup black peppercorns (C=0g as they are removed before cooking)
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise (C=0g as they are removed before cooking)
1 large ginger root, sliced thin (C=0g as they are removed before cooking)
For the roasting:
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper (C=4.1g)
Sea salt (C=0g)
1 bunch of rosemary for the cavity (C=0g)
4 tablespoons softened butter (C=0g)
For the basting:
1/4 cup VS Cognac or Brandy (C=0g)
1/2 cup sugar-free maple syrup (C=0g)
2 tablespoons pure Vanilla extract (C=.6g)
For the garnish and sauce:
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter (C=0g)
1 tablespoon minced ginger root (C=2g)
4 Bosc pears, cut into 8 wedges from core to stem, seeds remove as necessary (C=100g) (P=4g) (F=16g)
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives (C=.2g)
1 bunch of rosemary for garnish (C=0g)
To cure turkey: In a large stock pot combine the Splenda, Kosher salt and water. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn off the heat and add the peppercorns, vanilla bean and sliced ginger. Allow to cool.
Remove and discard the turkey pieces from the cavity. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold, running water. Select a large stock pot that will tightly hold the turkey and pour the brine over. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper toweling. Keep refrigerated until ready to roast.
To prepare turkey: Preheat oven to 475 to 500 degrees with the rack in the lower third of the oven.
Sprinkle cavity of turkey with the ground black pepper, salt and the rosemary. Truss bird with kitchen twine to secure legs to the tail. Fold wings behind the neck. Secure neck skin to the back with toothpicks. Rub entire surface of bird with the butter. Season with salt. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in an oven-proof roasting pan.
To make basting sauce: In a small bowl, combine the cognac, syrup and vanilla. Reserve for basting.
To cook turkey: Place turkey into the oven, cooking until well seared, about 45 minutes. Turn down the temperature to 300 to 350 degrees. Baste the breast and legs of the bird about every 20 minutes until all the liquid is used. Continue basting with the pan drippings until the turkey is done. Turkey is done when an instant meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 180 degrees and the juices run clear. Remove from oven and allow to rest about 10 to 15 minutes before carving to allow the juices to settle.
To prepare pear garnish: Immediately prepare the pears so they will be ready to cook during the high temperature stage of the turkey. In a small bowl combine the melted butter and minced ginger. In a large bowl combine the pears and the ginger butter, tossing to combine. Season with salt. Lay evenly across a nonstick sheet pan.
Place in the 450-degree oven with the turkey, cooking until tender and well caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
To make the sauce: Collect the juices from the roasting pan in a clear measuring cup. Remove fat from the juices and discard. Transfer juices to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cooking until reduced to sauce consistency. Add the roasted pears. Adjust the seasonings. Remove from the heat, add the chives. Transfer to a sauce boat to keep warm until serving.
To serve: Present the turkey artistically garnished with the bunch of rosemary. Serve the warm sauce on the side to serve over the turkey when carved.
Cooking note: If the roasting pan is dry and no liquids are obtained for the sauce, add two cups of light stock or water to the pan and heat if necessary to dissolve the pan drippings, then proceed with the recipe.
Serves 8 with leftovers.
Per serving: 482 calories; 30 g fat (10 g saturated fat; 56 percent calories from fat); 11 g carbohydrates; 208 mg cholesterol; 967 mg sodium; 42 g protein; 4 g fiber.