Since I've decided to salt brine (no water) the turkey this year, I've really been doing my homework and probably overthinking the whole thing. After watching videos and reading articles all day yesterday, it finally hit me...I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING, I'VE DONE THIS FOREVER. After all, this is MEMPHIS and we dry rub EVERYTHING. One turkey I did for Easter about 20 years ago was inspired by something I saw Jeff Smith do. Did you know that salt brine is the basic technique for Pressed duck and you can press any bird? So I pressed turkey. The family was not just impressed, they were AWE STRICKEN. i can't remember another meal where no one uttered a WORD and there was no turkey left over. Here's how it worked:
I boned the turkey, cut the meat into cutlets, and rendered down the skin and bones in a skillet. Layered the meat in a bowl with handfuls of salt and rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley...OK, sing the song... I put a plate on top and set heavy cans on it to do the pressing. Into the fridge for about 36 hours. After the skin and bones rendered, I strained them and put the fat in the fridge.
DAY OF I rinsed the salt off of the turkey (Amazing, the herbs did not rinse away) and dredged the turkey cutlets in flour, and fried them up like chicken fried steak in the rendered turkey fat. After they were all browned, I piled the cutlets back into the skillet, covered it, and let it sit on low heat for about 20 minutes while I made gravy from turkey stock (made from the wings, tail, neck, and giblets). It was OMG incredible! The bird was about 10 lbs, whole, but 3 adults and 2 tweens ate the WHOLE THING.