It seems that many of us avoid turkey during the rest of the year because it's so darned dry. Well, I've learned that turkey has a bad reputation for no reason. All it takes to make the best turkey you have ever eaten is a little brining. This brine recipe is just enough for a 12-pound bird. If you are making a larger turkey, then adjust accordingly.
Shauna and Daniel Ahern
|2 gallons water||20 sprigs thyme|
|1 head garlic, peels and all||10 sprigs sage|
|2 tablespoons black peppercorns, toasted and crushed||2 cups kosher salt|
|2 tablespoons white peppercorns, toasted and crushed||1 cup sugar|
|2 lemons, juice and hull||2 bay leaves|
|10 sprigs rosemary||1 12-pound turkey|
Combine all the ingredients and stir well.You have brine.
Submerge your turkey in the brine overnight. (Of course, you’ll need a big container for this.)
If you are planning ahead, submerge the turkey in brine two nights before the big day. Then, take the turkey out of the brine (throw that away now) and let the turkey sit in the refrigerator overnight. This will evaporate any residual liquids from the brining, which means crispy skin on Thanksgiving Day!
On Turkey Day, preheat the oven to 450°.
Coat the turkey in some sort of fat (We like olive oil. Butter or duck fat would be great too.)
Put the turkey in a roasting pan. Put it in the oven.
Roast at the high heat for 20 minutes.
Turn the heat down to 375° and roast the bird until it is golden and juicy, about 1 1/2 hours.
You need to take its internal temperature. Most official guides say take it to 180°. We're seeing a lot of chefs cooking poultry to 175° these days. You should do more reading and see what feels right to you. But please, don't overcook the bird.
Take the turkey out of the oven and let it rest, for about 15 minutes, before carving. This would be the time to make the gravy.
Cut into that juicy golden turkey and enjoy.
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