Ah, the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal. Also the most stressful part of the Thanksgiving meal. If you want to cook the whole bird – and I get it, it looks awesome – there are a few tips and tricks you can implement to get the best turkey you can roast.
1. Brine. First, the brine. Why brine? Well, brining makes meat juicier. When you brine meat the salt water softens the muscle fibers, so less water is forced out during the cooking process, leading to a juicier piece of meat.
2. Dry + Fat. When you’re ready to start cooking, pull the chicken out, rinse it off and thoroughly dry it off. Water = steam, so the dryer the turkey, the crispier the skin. After you dry the bird, coat with oil or butter, which will also make the skin extra crispy.
3. Truss. Trussing is when you use kitchen string to make the turkey as uniform in size as possible. This helps everything to cook at the same rate, so no more undercooked thighs and dry breasts.
4. Rest. Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing into it. This allows the juices to soak back into the bird, rather than just flowing out.
That’s it! Good luck and happy roasting.
1 gallon water, room temperature
1/2 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
5 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf, torn
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup orange juice
3 large shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely sliced green onions
1 teaspoon ground chinese five spice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
INGREDIENTS (FOR ROASTING)
one 15-pound turkey, brined
1 stick butter, softened
salt and pepper to taste
First, the brine. Add the turkey so it’s fully submerged and put the container in the fridge. Let it sit overnight or for at least 6 hours. When you’re ready to start cooking, pull the turkey out, rinse it off and thoroughly dry it off.
Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together, and coat the turkey in the marinade. Let it sit in the marinade in the fridge over night.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place rack in the lowest position of the oven. Pull the turkey out at least 20 minutes before cooking to take the chill off.
Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan. Rub the skin with the softened butter, and season with salt and pepper. Position an aluminum foil tent over the turkey.
Baste all over every 30 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan. Remove aluminum foil after 2 1/2 hours. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 160 degrees F, about 3 hours total.
Transfer the turkey to a large serving platter, and let it stand for at least 20 minutes before carving.