Turkey: Brined Whole Turkey

posted by abba 12-28-100 9:13 AM

Brined Whole Turkey
Servings: 22
Meal Type: Main Course
Ethnicity: American
Occasions: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July

1 (15 pound) whole turkey, thawed, giblets and neck removed
2 Pounds table salt or 4 pounds Kosher salt
2 Gallons cold water
2 Cups brown sugar * see note
1/2 Cup dried rosemary leaves
1/2 Cup dried thyme leaves
1 Small onion peeled and quartered
1 carrot peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Small stalk celery cut into 1-inch chunks
4-6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Rinse turkey in cool water. In a very large clean container (non-corrosive pan or stockpot such as stainless steel or glass or a food-grade plastic container), mix salt and water together until salt dissolves. Stir in brown sugar and spices, mix well until sugar dissolves.

Totally submerge poultry in solution and store covered in refrigerator for 12 hours.

Remove turkey from brine. Discard brine. Thoroughly rinse turkey under a slow stream of cool water, rubbing gently to release salt, both inside and out. Pat skin and both interior cavities dry.

In the cavity of turkey, place onion, carrot, and celery. Brush turkey with melted butter. Roast turkey, breast side down, in a preheated 325 degree F. oven for 2 hours. During this time, baste legs and back twice with melted butter.

Remove turkey from oven and protecting your hands, grasp turkey with several layers of clean paper towels at both ends, and turn turkey, breast side up. Return turkey to oven and continue to roast, basting twice with pan dripping. Continue to roast until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F. in the breast and 180 degrees F. in the thigh. Remove turkey from the oven and allow to stand for 20 minutes before carving.

* NOTE: Other combinations of herbs may be added including 6-8 bay leaves, 3 cloves garlic, and 2 teaspoons black peppercorns. Or a spicy flavor may be achieved by the addition of 1 cup small dried red chile peppers.

Recipe by The National Turkey Federation.

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