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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Good Eats Roast Turkey


First off, let me apologize for not having a picture of my turkey.  Turkey Day, as it should be, was pretty hectic, and once the "main event" was ready, I didn't have time to snap any pictures of it since everyone was waiting to devour it.  Its a shame too, because it turned out beautifully roasted, but the picture could never do justice, anyway.

This turkey I've made for a few years now, and I cannot imagine making another turkey.  I made this the very first time I hosted Thanksgiving (Mom usually does the turkey), and I was flabbergasted that I could make something so flippin' awesome!  I was very intimidated by all the ingredients the first time I made this (since I was still living a life of Hamburger Helper and frozen pizzas and pretty much only had salt and pepper), but that was about the same point in time I decided to start actually cooking more.  So...after watching the video a few more times, I decided to bite the bullet and do something way out of my comfort zone.  Surprisingly, this turkey isn't hard to prepare at all - you just have to make sure you keep the timeline in mind, since you need to prepare the brine and allow the turkey to take its long bath.  If you are new to the brining world, as I was, don't be intimidated - give this a try!  You will be amazed at how moist and flavorful a turkey really can be :) 

Good Eats Roast Turkey
Serves 10

1 (14-16 pound) frozen young turkey
For The Brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoon allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
1 gallon heavily iced water
For The Aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
canola oil

1.  2 to 3 days before roasting:
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.

2.  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.

3.  Preheat the oven to 500˚. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

4.  Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

5.  Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

6.  Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500˚ for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350˚. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161˚. 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.

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