Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I am looking forward to a house filled with family, wonderful smells, and a very full belly. I realize there are many methods for cooking a turkey, some steeped in family tradition, but I wanted to share with you the one that has worked best for me over the years - I have yet to have one come out dry or overcooked using this method. Thank you Alton Brown! Original can be found here: Good Eats Roast Turkey
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 gallon vegetable stock
- 10 black peppercorns - whole
- 5 allspice berries - whole
- 1 gallon cold water
- 1 15-pound turkey - thawed
- 1 red apple - sliced in half
- 1/2 onion
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 1 sprig sage
- grapeseed oil
The morning prior to roasting your turkey: combine the salt, stock, peppercorn, and allspice berries in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until chilled. Then pour the brine and ice water into a clean 5-gallon bucket. Submerge the thawed turkey, with innards removed, in the brine, cover, and refrigerate (or leave in cool place) over night.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Remove the bird from the brine, rinse inside and out with cold water; discard the brine. Place the bird on roasting rack inside your roasting pan and pat dry. Inside the cavity of the bird place the apple, onion, cinnamon, rosemary, and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with grapeseed oil.
Place your turkey in the oven on the lowest rack and roast for 30 minutes at 500 degrees.**
**I'm not sure if it's my oven, but every time I do this my smoke detector goes off at around the 25 minute mark. If this is an issue, decrease your roasting time by 5 minutes, it won't effect the bird.
Insert an oven safe thermometer into thickest part of the breast (careful not to touch the bone) and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Roast until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 161 degrees - this should take around 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove it from the oven and cover it loosley with foil. While the turkey rests, it is a perfect time to put your remaining dishes in the oven to bake - your turkey will stay warm and tender while it waits.