Following the theme of Thanksgiving foods, what would Thanksgiving be without a turkey? I know a lot of people celebrate with other types of meat; ham, lamb, seafood, but for us it’s Turkey.
Now I take the time to brine my turkey, and I have included that recipe for you as well. The brine can be made a head of time and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to brine your bird.
- Turkey Brine (Good for a turkey up to 20 pounds)
- 1 cup Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup Lt. Brown sugar
- 1 gallon of Vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp. Whole Peppercorns
- 1 1/2 tsp Whole Allspice berries
- 1 1/2 tsp Whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
- 1 gallon of Heavily Iced Water
- In a stock pot over medium high heat, add all ingredients except for the ice water. Stir occasionally, and bring to a boil. Once boiled, removed from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- You can either refrigerate the brine at this point or continue if ready to brine the turkey.
- When ready to brine combine the brine, the gallon of heavily iced water and the turkey in a brining bucket or bag. Brine in a cool place for 12 hours or more, turning the turkey over once.
The Next Day
When preparing to roast your turkey you will want to roast it with some aromatics. Here is what I use to make the best tasting turkey ever.
- 1 Apple cored and sliced
- 1/2 onion
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 c water
- 6 Sage leaves
- 4 Thyme sprigs
- 3 Marjoram (or oregano) sprigs
- 2-4 Rosemary sprigs
- 2 Garlic cloves
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Unsalted Butter
- Remove turkey from brine, and discard the brine. Rinse the turkey thoroughly in cold water.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat the bird dry and add to roasting rack.
- Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and water into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes. (This will be steaming hot!)
- Add the apple, onion, and cinnamon stick into the cavity of the turkey. Add the herbs as well. These will most likely stick out the end of the bird.
- Loosen the skin covering the breast with your fingers try not to tear it. Add softened unsalted butter directly between the breast meat and the skin. You can do this on the legs as well.
- Rub extra virgin olive oil over the top of the skin. Add Salt and Pepper as desired.
- Roast the turkey on the lowest rack in the oven for 30 minutes. This time will color your turkey beautifully.
- Reduce the heat to 350 degrees, and roast until done. I baste hourly, but it’s not required. For a 20 pound turkey it may take 3 1/2 to 4 hours. The turkey will be done when a food thermometer reads 165 degrees.
- Rest the turkey under aluminum foil for at least 30 minutes. I usually rest it up to 60 minutes.