Roast Turkey - Brine
This is a favorite preparation method for turkey inspired by my favorite Test Kitchen. I suggest using a medium size cooler for keeping the turkey cool in the cold water during the brining process. Ice bags could be used to keep the temperature stable.
Author: Christopher Kosovich
- 1 cup salt per gallon of water
- 1 (12- to 14-pound) turkey with the trimmed, neck, giblets, and tailpiece removed
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 white onions, chopped coarse
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped coarse
- 2 celery ribs, chopped coarse
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup water, plus extra as needed
- Dissolve salt in cold water in large container with enough to completely cover the turkey.
- Submerge turkey in brine, cover, and refrigerate or store in very cool spot (40 degrees or less) for 6 to 12 hours.
- Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet.
- Remove turkey from brine and pat dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
- Place turkey on prepared wire rack.
- Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line V-rack with heavy-duty aluminum foil and poke several holes in foil.
- Set V-rack in roasting pan and spray foil with vegetable oil spray.
- Toss thyme and half of vegetables with 2 tablespoon melted butter in bowl and place inside turkey.
- Tie legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wings behind back.
- Scatter remaining vegetables in pan.
- Pour water over vegetable mixture in pan.
- Brush turkey breast with 1 tablespoon melted butter, then place turkey breast side down on V-rack. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
- Roast turkey for 45 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven; baste turkey with juices from pan.
- Using 2 large wads of paper towels, turn turkey wing side up.
- If liquid in pan has totally evaporated, add another ½ cup water.
- Return turkey to oven and roast for 15 minutes.
- Remove turkey from oven again, baste, and rotate so that other wing side is up; roast for another 15 minutes.
- Remove turkey from oven again, baste, and turn it breast side up; roast until breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Remove turkey from oven.
- Gently tip turkey so that any accumulated juices in cavity run into pan.
- Transfer turkey to carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Carve turkey and serve.