Main dish

Roasted Brined Turkey

 

Roasted Brined Turkey

Looking for the best turkey recipe for your thanksgiving dinner? Search no more! This brined turkey is juicy, insanely flavorful, moist and tender. Make an easy gravy with it, to make your thanksgiving dinner table complete.

Equipment

  • Roasting Pan
  • 2 Cup Fat Separator
  • Turkey Baster
  • Thermometer
  • Big pot or Brining bag
  • Pastry Brush
  • Oven
  • Sheet pan with a rack

Ingredients
  

  • Turkey (14.91 to 15lbs)
  • 6 quarts of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 medium onion
  • 15 leaves of sage
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 8-10 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leave
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Gravy ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stick
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 2 cups of unsalted chicken stock + additional 1 cup to deglaze pan
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine (when deglazing pan)

Instructions
 

  • Thaw and clean your turkey, removing the neck and any giblets. Place your turkey into a brining bag or a big pot that has a lid.
  • Chop all of your herbs and add them into a separate pot (one that you will be using to make your brine in).
  • Chop your onion and smash then chop your garlic with a knife.
  • Peel and cut your lemon and orange. I would recommend squeezing out the juice of the lemon and orange with your hands, no need for a lemon juicer.
  • Add your salt, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, bay leaves and cloves into the pot that you will be making your brine in.
  • Then add only 2 quarts of water. Mix your brine on low to medium heat, so that the salt and sugar can dissolve.
  • Once dissolved take off heat and add the rest of the water (4 quarts). Once the brine has cooled, you can pour it over your Turkey. Do NOT pour it over the turkey if it's lukewarm, wait till it cools.
  • Make sure your whole turkey is submerged in the brine and if needed, add additional water. Also close your pot with a lid or if your are using a brining bag tie it up.
  • Brine your turkey for 48 hrs in the fridge.
  • Once the 48 hrs are up, take the turkey out and place onto a sheet pan fitted with a rack.
  • Pat your turkey dry with paper towels and place back into the fridge for an additional 2-3 hrs. This step is important because it will help dry out the skin to make it crispy when baked. It will also evenly distribute moisture to the whole turkey. Discard your brine and don’t reuse it because it won’t be safe to use.
  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Before roasting your turkey, you will want to take it out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour. You don’t want to put a cold turkey straight into an oven because it will cause your turkey to not be evenly cooked.
  • In your roasting pan, add your onions, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley and thyme. If you are not planning on making a gravy, then you can skip on adding the vegetables. Pour your 2 cups of unsalted chicken stock into the pan, then place a rack on top and add your turkey.
  • Tuck your wings under on your turkey (as shown in the video). Then thruss your Turkey with a twine which was also shown in the video. Brush your turkey with oil and lightly salt and pepper it.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and rotate at the 10 min mark. Then turn down your oven temperature to 350F and bake for 2 1/2 - 3 hrs or until the thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 170F. I would recommend turning the turkey every 30 minutes in the oven because this will ensure even browning. Also if you are making a gravy then keep an eye on your vegetables at the bottom of the roasting pan, so they don’t burn adding additional stock if needed. Another tip I would recommend doing is basting your turkey with the pan drippings, at least once per hour.
  • Once it’s baked, allow the turkey to rest for 1 hour so it can redistribute all the juices and be moist on the inside, not dry.
  • Enjoy!!
  • For: Gravy
  • If making a Gravy, save all of your pan drippings and pour into a fat and stock separator then discard all of the vegetables.
  • Deglaze your roasting pan with 1/4 cup of dry white wine. Let reduce to 2/3 and then add in 1 cup of stock. Bringing it to a light simmer, add it into your fat and stock separator.

Video

Notes

Thawing your Turkey:
Thaw your turkey in the fridge:  Don’t leave it over night, it will be in risk of growing bacteria.
How long does a turkey defrost for?
Depending on the size it can defrost from 1 to 3 days.
How long did my 15 lb turkey defrost for?
3 days in the fridge.
Lets make a plan:
  • When to defrost : 5 days before thanksgiving
  • When to Brine: 2 days before thanksgiving or 48 hours
  • When to put in the fridge to let the skin dry out: 2- 3hrs on thanksgiving
  • When to take out of the fridge: 30 minutes to 1 hour before roasting
  • How long does the turkey bake for: 2 1/2 to 3 hours
  • How long do you rest you’re turkey for: 1 Hour
  • How long does it take to make the gravy: Make your gravy in 20 minutes
Why do chop all the herbs into pieces, instead of keeping them whole?
Produced more flavor throughout the brine, instead of in one area.
Why do I peel the lemon and the orange?
It produced more flavor.
Why you should squeeze out the juice of the lemon and orange?
This will give more flavor and will make your turkey more tender.
Why I add 2 quarts of water at first when dissolving the salt?
Not adding all of your water, will help make your brine cool faster, since you will be adding the 4 quarts to it. This will speed up the process. 
When my brine is lukewarm can I add it to my turkey?
No do not add warm or hot brine to turkey, you will end up cooking it.
Making sure your turkey is submerged in the brine:
This step is really important you want the brine to moisten up your whole turkey not just a part of it. Also there will be lack of flavor, If not fully submerged. 
Can I use my leftover brine to stuff the turkey?
No. Don’t use any of the brine, discard it.
Letting it dry in the fridge:
This step will ensure you have a crispy skin and will help to evenly distribute moisture throughout the turkey.
Why I rub the turkey with olive oil?
Brushing olive oil onto the skin helps it get crispy too
Can I use turkey or any other stock or broth when adding to the vegetables?
Yes you can, I used chicken stock. Make sure it's unsalted.
Do I need to add salt and pepper to the skin?
No you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
Why to let your turkey sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking?
This will ensure it’s evenly cooked and you don’t want to add in a cold turkey into a hot oven.
Why you should bast your turkey with pan drippings?
Helps keep it moist and will give the skin a glossier look.
What temperature does my turkey have to be at and where do I take the temperature?
The Turkey breast needs to be at 165F and the thigh of the turkey needs to be at 170F to 175F.
Why do you have to wait an hour before carving Into a roasted turkey?
 Do not cut into the turkey right away or else your turkey will be dry. When the turkey rests it will redistribute all of the juices and be moist inside.
Want to reheat turkey for the next day?
To reheat  turkey simple add your cut up meat with skin side up in a hotel pan or a baking dish. Then pour some chicken stock or turkey stock or whatever stock or broth you like covering it 1/2 way. Heat up in a 350F with foil on top. Also baste the meat with the stock  a couple times so the top won't be dry. Make sure your stock or broth is unsalted.

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