Friday, November 26, 2010

Herb and Salt Brined Turkey

Herb and Salt Brined Turkey
(Source: Fine Cooking Magazine)

Ok – so here it is, Thanksgiving! The year has literally flown by and I have so much to be thankful for and reflect on. This year I thought I would make a bird that I had never tried before and I found just what I wanted to try in a magazine I picked up based on the cake on the front page…LOL! Herb and Salt Brined Turkey may be a new thing for us, but I am praying we love it! The herbs smelled so intoxicating and make me feel like the holidays are upon us. This brine process was over 4 days, I really took my time getting the herbs onto the flesh of the bird, the house smelled so fragrant and delightful. If you are looking for a new twist for your bird, give this one a try. This is going to be my every year turkey - it is so moist and flavorful!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
One 16-lb. turkey, preferably fresh (not kosher or self-basting)
2 oz. kosher salt (1/2 cup if using Diamond Crystal; 1/4 cup if using Morton)
Herb Gravy for a Brined Turkey (optional)

Chop your herbs and add olive oil to them 

Rub the herb mixture on the meat, under the skin. Pat the skin back into place.

Rub the salt inside the cavity and on the skin. Tuck the wing tips behind the neck and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Put the turkey in a large food-safe plastic bag (such as a turkey-size roasting bag) and tie. Put the bag inside a second bag and tie.

Refrigerate the turkey, turning it over every day, for 3 days.

Remove the turkey from the bags and pat dry. Put it in a flameproof roasting pan and refrigerate, unwrapped, to let the turkey air-dry overnight (for the fourth day).

Roast the turkey
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F. Continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F in the thickest part of a thigh, about 2 hours. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving to allow the juices to settle.

Not only is the smell just fantastic! The taste is amazing!

Store leftover meat and the turkey carcass in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.


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