Sunday, November 24, 2013

Oven Roasted Turkey

I have wanted to make Alton Brown's Thanksgiving Turkey (YouTube) since I first saw it in middle school. I documented the way I prepared the turkey and to be honest was very happy how it turned out. The skin was crispy brown and the turkey was perfectly seasoned and moist.

Qty Ingredient Procedure
1 16lb turkey
  1. Start by ensuring your bird is completely thawed. If there isn’t enough time to thaw in the fridge, simply place the bird in a cooler with water and change the water out every two hours. Make sure NOT to take the bird out of its wrapping, this will make it a nightmare to deal with turkey juices everywhere.
1 gallon chicken stock
  1. To start the brine, bring the chicken stock, the brown sugar, and salt to a boil. Once brought to a boil, take off the heat and let cool completely before placing in the fridge.
  2. Once ready to brine the bird, combine the brine with the 2 gallons of iced water in a clean five gallon bucket (preferred) or a cooler (trash bag optional). Take the turkey out of its packaging and place the turkey inside breast side down. Half way through flip the bird over. We brined our bird for roughly 8 hours. I would try to do as close to this as possible.
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 gallons iced water (mostly Ice)
3 sprigs rosemary
  1. Thoroughly drain the bird and pat dry. Place on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Make sure to take EVERYTHING out of its cavity; most birds these days will have two bags of organs and the neck (we almost missed the 2nd bag of organs). Stuff it with the onion quartered, rough chopped celery and carrots, and fresh herbs. It should all fit but should be pretty loose. DO NOT OVER PACK THE TURKEY.
  2. Rub down the turkey in canola oil as if you were a Swede. Once oiled down create your turkey breast plate out of folded over aluminum foil, its much easier to do this now when the turkey is not blazing hot.
  3. Place the turkey in a 500°F oven for 30 minutes. Now apply the breast plate and lower the temperature to 350°F. You are looking for a meat thermometer to reach 161°F in the thickest part of the breast which should take 1.5-2 hours after the initial 30 minutes (ours was exactly another 2 hours).
  4. Once taken out of the oven, loosely cover in foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving. This is the perfect amount to heat up sides and make delicious turkey gravy.
2 bunches fresh sage
1 medium onion
2-3 celery stalks
2-3 carrots

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