Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Turkey

Ok, so this past Thanksgiving I made the BEST turkey ever!!!!! If you are looking for a recipe for the perfect meal for your Christmas Dinner... Look no further! My husband and I had been at a friends for a Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner and the turkey was to die for... so I asked our friend what he did and he told us that he had simply Brined it...
Now, with all the experience that I had in my short culinary program experience (didn't get to finish :( but plan to!) and my LOVE for cooking, I had heard of it, but never tried it. I don't know why I hadn't cause it's the best thing ever!

Anyway, the recipe that I found was similar to the one our friend made for us. I found it on The Food Network website. It's from "Good Eats" Alton Brown. The reviews for this recipe had me begging to try it! Perfect 5 stars! (And might I add I don't think I have ever made anything of Alton Brown's that wasn't fabulous! And let me tell you... He knows his stuff)

So, here it is... (you can also find the link here) Hope you try this! It is DEFINITELY WORTH the extra effort! And yes, my turkey looked just as beautiful as the Food Network picture (below) when it came out of the oven!

(FYI Allspice Berries are just whole allspice!)

Good Eats Roast Turkey

  • Cook Time:

    2 hr 30 min

  • Level:


  • Yield:

    10 to 12 servings


  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Canola oil


Click here to see how it's done.

2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger 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 thawed turkey (with innards removed) 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.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skinliberally with canola oil.

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. 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. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

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