If you haven't brined your turkey, you must absolutely try this. I know, probably a lot of you deep fry your turkey. Color me jealous, I have never had that kind of turkey. I know, crazy, huh? I hear everyone go on and on about it. Since I have never even had it and it costs money, plus money for the oil, I just can't justify it. Some day, at a garage sale, I will find one, and I might just buy it.
Until then, I will happily make my brined turkey. It's juicy and delicious and the gravy you make with the juices is amazing!
One week away till the American Thanksgiving!
|Source: Graphics Fairy|
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
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
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger or a chunk of ginger
oil, peanut, vegetable or corn
About 2 to 3 days before roasting: Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
Combine the salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, 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. Add in the vegetable stock. Refrigerate.
About 24 hours before you plan to cook the bird start with these instructions. 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. Turn the bird over about half way through brining.
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine. Place the bird on a roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels. I know this temp seems counter intuitive but really it puts a beautiful brown crust on the bird and traps in the moisture for the remainder of the baking process. Tuck the wings underneath the bird. Liberally smooth oil all over turkey skin.
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.
Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500°F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161° F.
It's about 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting for a 20 pound turkey. Remove from oven. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving. A perfect amount of time to get your gravy done.
I may not be the best carver but this turkey is moist. Even though it looks brown and crispy above. The skin and the roasting at the beginning help to lock in the moisture.