Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Roast Turkey (Brine)

This is the recipe we have been following since 2002 and we just love it ~ very much. It never fails to produce a nice moist turkey and makes us look like pros to our family. Recipe courtesy of the culinary genius, Alton Brown.

1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young Turkey (Butterballs are GF)

1 cup Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 gallon stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoons candied ginger
1 gallon iced water

Combine all the brine ingredients, except iced water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature and refrigerate throughly chilled. (This part can be made a few days ahead)

Early on day of cooking (or late the night before as we do) combine the bring and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket (we use a beverage canister with lid). Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover and refrigerate or set in cool area (like basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, halfway through brining (we always forget to do this).

A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Remove bird from brine and rinse inside out with cold water (remove innards). Discard brine.

Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Stuff bird if you are doing so (you KNOW Alton does not recommend this ~ I do :-). Coat bird liberally with oil.

Roast on lowest level of oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with foil (its a great idea to pre mold a foil ahead for this purpose). Inset thermometer into thickest part of breast and return to oven. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Set thermometer alarm to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

Yield 1 to 12 servings.

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