Good Eats Roast Turkey

Here was our Thanksgiving turkey, recipe courtesy of Alton Brown.  We thought it was great…very moist, flavorful, and juicy!  Also, the turkey looks gorgeous!  Our turkey’s have never looked or tasted this good before.

PS, I think my dad thought the turkey was worth it, because he had to get up at 4:00 am in the morning to turn the bird half way through brining!

Give Alton Brown’s turkey brine recipe a try for your next year’s Thanksgiving dinner!  Enjoy!

Good Eats Roast Turkey
1 (14-16) pound frozen young turkey

For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp allspice berries
1 1/2 tsp 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

2-3 days before roasting:
1. Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
2. 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 night before you’d like to eat:
3.  Combine the brine, water, and ice in the 5-gallon bucket.  Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in the 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.
4.  Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.  Remove the bird from the brine and rinse inside and out with cold water.  Discard the brine.
5.  Place the bird on a roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
6.  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 skin liberally with canola oil.
7.  Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.  Insert a probe thermometer into the 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 14-16 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.

Yield:  10 to 12 servings
Alton Brown

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