Brines make the perfect part of preparing a holiday dinner as they free up your time for other Thanksgiving Day cooking tasks. Brines are self basting. The turkey’s skin comes out crisp and the bird is seasoned all the way through.
- Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
- Place thawed turkey, breast side down, in brine. Cover and refrigerate or set in cool area for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.
- A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees.
- Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.
- Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.
- Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. Note: A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting.
- Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.
Helpful Hint: if the turkey’s exterior appears dry, add, by teaspoon, honey and spread. The honey adds a slight taste only and creates a shine to the turkey’s exterior skin.
Recipe by: Executive Chef John Armstrong IV
- 1 (14 to 16 pound) Young turkey, frozen
- 1 cup Kosher salt
- 1 cup Granulated sugar
- 1 gallon Chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Black peppercorns
- 8 cloves Garlic, smashed
- 4 Shallots, cut in half
- 3 sprigs Sage
- 3 sprigs Rosemary
- 8 sprigs Thyme
- 1 gallon iced water