A CozyBogie Thanksgiving: Roast Turkey
November 25, 2011 § 1 Comment
A fool-proof turkey, yes, it’s that easy.
The only drawback to this turkey is the amount of preparation time involved before the actual cooking. Brining might be a process that feels a little unfamiliar, but I can guarantee that once you start brining your turkeys, you won’t be able to go back! It guarantees a juicy bird that is well seasoned down to the inner-core. Be careful to reserve the drippings from the pan for the gravy, this is essential!
- 1 (14 to 16 pound) fresh young organic turkey
For the brine:
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 gallon vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 gallon heavily iced water
For the aromatics:
- 1 red apple, sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1/2 lemon, halved
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter
1 day before roasting:
Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, and peppercorns in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.
Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:
Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the turkey (with innards removed but not discarded – you need this for the gravy!) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
Add aromatics to the turkey’s cavity. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with butter.
Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Place a foil shield over the breast, drumsticks, and wings so that they don’t burn during the cooking process. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Remove foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking. CAREFULLY tilt the bird so that the drippings from the cavity pour into the roasting pan, and then carefully pour the drippings into a heat-proof measuring cup. Return to oven. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.