If you plan to prepare a turkey this holiday season, I highly suggest you try this recipe.
A few years back, we came across brining bags at Williams - Sonoma, which are basically heavy duty, double zip lock bags that you marinate your turkey in over night.
When I say the flavor is incomparable, I truly mean it. I will never cook a turkey any other way. The bags are sold as a set of two and there is a jar of brining spices that you will also need. Each bag will hold up to a 23-pound turkey.
Following this procedure will give you a most memorable holiday dinner. The flavor and moistness of this roasted turkey is second to none.
1 12 - 14 pound turkey (wing tips, neck and giblets reserved for gravy)
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
1 brining bag
2 1/2 cups of brine spices
1 1/2 gallons of filtered water
The preparation will start 24 hours before you begin cooking the turkey.
First, clip the wing tips, remove the neck and giblets and store them in the refrigerator until needed.
Next, wash the turkey thoroughly, both inside and out, under cool water and place it inside the brining bag.
On the box of the brining bags, the instructions say to boil the brining spices in water first, then let cool and pour over the turkey. But I think it is better if you just mix the brining spices with cool water and pour over the turkey. I have tried both ways and think boiling the brine first is a wasted step.
I also think the best way to store the turkey overnight is to empty one of the drawers at the bottom of your fridge and place the bag with the turkey in it into the drawer. Then mix the brining spices with the water, pour it over the turkey, seal the bag and close the draw. Coming from experience, this is the easiest way to handle this project.
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Remove the turkey from the bag and pat dry with a paper towel.
Place the turkey in a large roasting pan and rub it all over with softened butter. Put the pan in the oven, cook for 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 325 degrees, and cook for 4 to 4 1/2 hours (about 20 minutes per pound).
To insure that ultimate golden brown color, do not cover with foil until you have achieved that perfect looking turkey.
When the turkey is done, your meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh should read 175 degrees. When this internal temperature has been met, remove the turkey from the oven. Let it sit for 30 minutes with a loose foil cover to allow the juices to distribute evenly back into the turkey and serve.
Enjoy and have a great holiday.
Tips and Techniques
Rotate the turkey about 12 hours into the marinating time.
Serve this dish with a French red Burgundy such as Richebourg or Echezeaux.
Contact Chris Kennedy at Seasoned Catering at (561) 351-0221, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.