One of the most intimidating things to make at any holiday meal is the Turkey. I'll admit that I have been pretty scared in the past and backed out making the turkey because of my fear of ruining the entire meal. But last year, I went for it and made the turkey. It was pretty amazing! But, sadly, someone put foil over it when it was in the "resting" phase, and it dried out. This year, I started preparing the bird the night before. Eliot (my stepdad) brined the turkey overnight with some kosher salt and rosemary. If you don't know what brining is, Martha Stewart has a great brining lesson that is easy to follow. Now, given that we had 40 people (yes, you read that correctly) over for Thanksgiving, we had 3 turkeys: my roasted turkey, Eliot's smoked turkey, and my dad's deep fried turkey (WOW... AMAZING!!!) so I knew I had to knock mine out of the park. I have to say that this was the BEST turkey that I've ever had!Obviously I like the majority of the foods that I cook but this was FANTASTIC! The overnight brining made it super moist and the herbed butter that I smothered it with was just perfect. I used the same herbed butter as I did on my Mary's Chicken. Every 20 minutes I basted the turkey to maximize the crunchiness of the skin and moisture of the turkey meat. ***Please follow cooking instructions EXACTLY for a turkey. Nothing will make you sicker than an uncooked turkey*** I used salted butter because I didn't want to add any extra butter with the risk of drying the turkey out. Tons of fresh herbs and garlic made for a divine marinade. Now, of course you don't HAVE to use Mary's chicken (Mary is NOT a person, it's the BRAND) or turkey, they're just a really wonderful quality of poultry that I simply will not substitute on a holiday as important as Thanksgiving. Well, after my grandmother ate this turkey, she has decided that I shall be catering Christmas dinner, turkey included. For your next holiday meal, follow these steps to making a delicious, moist, crunchy-skinned turkey. NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY, will be disappointed!
Here is a guide for how long to roast a turkey (EVERYONE'S OVEN COOKS DIFFERENTLY!!! USING A MEAT THERMOMETER WILL ENSURE THAT YOUR TURKEY REACHES 165 DEGREES F. AND COOKS TO PERFECTION!)
8 - 12 lbs.
2 3/4 - 3 hours
3 - 3 1/2 hours
|12 - 14 lbs.||3 - 3 3/4 hours||3 1/2 - 4 hours|
|14 - 18 lbs.||3 3/4 - 4 1/4 hours||4 - 4 1/4 hours|
|18 - 20 lbs.||4 1/4 - 4 1/2 hours||4 1/4 - 4 3/4 hours|
|20 - 24 lbs.||4 1/2 - 5 hours||4 3/4 - 5 1/4 hours|
1 brined turkey (adjust the ingredients below depending on the size of your turkey)
1 stick salted butter (at room temperature)
2 tbs. fresh rosemary
1 tbs. fresh thyme
1 1/2 tbs. fresh sage
6-8 whole garlic cloves
1 meat thermometer
3 full sprigs of rosemary (separate from the above amount)
1 LARGE roasting pan
1. Preheat your oven to 325*. Remove the giblets from the turkey. In a food processor, add the herbs and garlic and chop until they're minced.
2. Add the butter and process until it is all fully incorporated and forms a paste.
3. Rub the inside of the turkey with the orange and let the orange stay inside while the turkey roasts. Loosen the skin of the turkey and place the full sprigs of rosemary under the skin.
4. Cover the ENTIRE turkey with the butter. Place the meat thermometer into the side of the turkey, through the breast ALL the way in.
5. Place the turkey in a roasting pan (MAKE SURE IT FITS!!!). Start roasting!
***Baste the turkey every 20 minutes***
|THE SKIN IS SO CRUNCHY!!!!! :)|
7. Let someone who KNOWS how to slice a turkey do so.
8. Serve on a large platter with your favorite holiday side dishes.