Roasted Turkey

Roasted Turkey

  • Servings: servings vary
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Author note: The first roasted turkey recipe my husband and I ever cooked was Alton Brown’s. His method of roasting is complete and thorough. We have never roasted a turkey any other way. While the brine and stuffing recipe is A Pleasant Little Kitchen’s, the cooking method is 100% Alton Brown’s.

for the brine

2 gallons cold water

1 apple juice

1 1/3 cups kosher salt

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons peppercorns

1 tablespoon allspice berries

2 tarragon sprigs

4 thyme sprigs

4 rosemary sprigs

2 garlic cloves, halved

1 onion, halved

1 apples, quartered

2 inch fresh ginger pieces, peeled

1 12-18 pound turkey

  1. Place all ingredients in a large stock pan. Heat the brine until sugar and salt have dissolved, stir occasionally. Remove the brine from the heat and bring to room temperature.
  2. Remove the turkey from the packaging. If there is anything inside the turkey cavity (neck, giblets, etc.) remove these items as well.
  3. Place the turkey in a 32 quart plastic container. Pour the cooled brine over the turkey.
  4. Place the turkey into the fridge and let brine for at least 12 hours, up to 24 hours.

for the turkey

1 garlic, halved

1 onion, halved

1 apple, quartered

1 tablespoon peppercorns

1 tablespoon allspice berries

2 tarragon branches

3 thyme sprigs

3 rosemary sprigs

canola oil

  1. Heat the oven to 500F.
  2. Remove the turkey from the brine. Rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Place the turkey on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle the peppercorns and allspice berries in the bottom of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the remaining aromatics. After stuffing the turkey, truss the wings and legs to form a compact shape. This will help with even cooking and makes for a better presentation.
  5. Place the turkey on a roasting pan and lather the turkey with canola oil.
  6. Roast the turkey at 500F for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350.
  8. Remove the turkey from the oven and insert an oven-safe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast.
  9. Return the turkey to the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 155F.
  10. This will take 2 – 2 1/2 hours, depending on the exact weight of the turkey.
  11. Peek at the turkey (without opening the oven) with about 30 minutes to go. If the breast skin is getting too dark, place a double piece of foil over it to shield it from the heat during the remainder of the cooking.
  12. Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes prior to carving.

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