1. Place the water in a large nonreactive pot that can easily hold the liquid and the turkey. Add all the ingredients and stir for a minute or two until the sugar and salt dissolve. Then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Note: You may halve or double the recipe. The important thing is to prepare enough brine to cover the turkey completely.
2. Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5 gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in the brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in a cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn the turkey over once. half way through brining. f you don''t have room to brine the turkey in the refrigerator, use an ice chest. Place the turkey and the brine in a heavy-weight plastic garbage bag (don''t use bags made from recycled materials), then place that bag inside a second bag. Smoosh out all the air pockets, close the inner bag, then the outer, and pack in the chest with ice. The bird will happily -- and safely -- brine away.
3. A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500? (425? for convection oven). Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
4. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine. Plase bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels.. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.
5. Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500? (425? convection) for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with a double layer of aluminum foil. Insert probe of meat thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to the oven, reducing the temperature to 350? (300? convection). Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161?.
A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2? hours of roasting. BUT fresh (never frozen) birds cook fast. An 18 to 20 pound bird, unstuffed, can cook in 2 hours. Be watchful!
Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.
Brining works best with a 12- to 16-pound unstuffed turkey roasted at 400 degrees. If you need to serve more people it''s best to roast two smaller turkeys. However, if you do choose to brine a bigger bird, figure that a 20- to 22-pound brined turkey may take 3 1/2-4 1/2 hours to cook. The oven temperature should be the same (350 degrees) as for the unbrined Big Bird instructions that follow.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread 2 tablespoons of softened butter over the skin Tuck the wing tips under, loosely truss the legs and place the turkey on a v-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent the breast with foil and place the turkey in the oven.
After about 1 hour, remove the foil and baste the turkey with 1/2 cup stock. Re-baste it with pan drippings and more stock, if desired, every 20 minutes.
Roast the turkey until the internal thigh temperature reaches 165 degrees, 1 3/4-2 1/4 hours.
To be sure it''s done, the turkey''s internal temperature should be 165 degrees at the thickest part of the thigh. When pricked with a fork, the juices should run clear. After taking it out of the oven and before carving it,
let the turkey rest 20-30 minutes; the internal temperature will continue to rise several degrees.
If you would like to make gravy with the brined turkey''''s pan juices, note that they may be very salty, and you may not want to use all of the juices.
BEST WAY GRILL-ROASTED
Brine the turkey according to the accompanying recipe, then rinse and dry the turkey well. Rub the skin with 2 tablespoons of softened butter and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper on the skin and inside the cavities.
Prepare a covered grill with a charcoal fire, centering an aluminum or metal drip pan directly under the grill and arranging the coals on either side.
Place some liquid -- water, stock or wine -- in the pan to create steam during grilling. If you want to smoke the turkey, soak applewood chips as directed on the package, then sprinkle a handful over the hot coals.
Place the prepared turkey on the grill, close the cover and cook the turkey until the internal thigh temperature registers 165 degrees, about 2 1/4-3 hours. Every 30 minutes, baste the turkey with some stock. Add additional coals, soaked chips (if using) and liquid to the drip pan as needed to maintain an even temperature. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil if it begins to overbrown.
BEST WAY BIG BIRD
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 20- to 22-pound turkey as directed for the Best Way Traditional bird, but double the amount of softened butter, salt and pepper. Roast and baste (using about 1 cup of stock) according to the Best Way Traditional directions. Cover the legs with foil if they begin to overbrown. Roast until the internal thigh temperature registers 165 degrees, about 3 1/2 hours.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (635g)|
|Recipe Makes: 12 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 626 (50%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 69.6g||93 %|
|Saturated Fat 19.4g||97 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 26.2g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 17.1g|
|Cholesterol 391.6mg||120 %|
|Sodium 9652.8mg||333 %|
|Potassium 1291.9mg||34 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 54g||16 %|
|Dietary Fiber 1.1g||4 %|
|Sugars, other 52.9g|
|Protein 96.1g||137 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 1246
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