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This recipe is the highly rated “Good Eats Roast Turkey” from Alton Brown. Over 3500 people have rated this recipe “five star” on the Food Network website. It was a little extra work but I think it was totally worth it and I plan on making it again the next time. I did not use the “aromatics” listed on the original recipe. My family likes stuffing so that is what I fixed. A word of warning to you guys, this turkey cooks much quicker than you expect. I had a 18 lb turkey and it was done in 3 hours according to my meat thermometer. I left it in another 30 minutes and it was just a tad too dry. I suggest you trust the thermometer. I should have, especially since it looked and smelled done too. Despite that, I still plan to make this turkey again. It is superb.

Brined, Roasted Turkey

  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey, thawed
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

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 the night before you’d like to eat, combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in 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.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine. Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into 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 to 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.

The finished product: