Roast Turkey Recipe, How to Roast a Turkey, Perfect Turkey Recipe, Recipe for Roast Turkey
For the brine:
6-8 quarts cold water, preferably iced
1 ½ cups kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
6 bay leaves
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 heads garlic, crush
For the turkey:
1 whole turkey, 18-20 pounds, patted dry and neck and giblets removed
2 medium onions, chopped
2 lemons, quartered
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bunch fresh thyme
¼ cup olive oil
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
On the day before you’ll roast the turkey, make the brine. Put one quart of water in a saucepan. Add salt, sugar, bay leaves, black and pink or green peppercorns, fennel seeds and crush garlic. Bring to a full boil, boil until salt and sugar are fully dissolved, and remove from heat and chill.
Line a large (5 gallon) container with a roasting or oven bag. Place turkey in the bag, and add fully chilled brine. Add remaining ice (or iced water) until bird is fully covered. Make sure the bird stays submerged – if necessary add a weighted plate to the top. Place container in a cooler or refrigerator. If necessary, use a cooler, and make sure temperature stays at at least 40F or below. Brine the bird for 24 hours, flipping once halfway through.
One hour before you’re ready to roast, remove the turkey from the brine. Brush off peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic if necessary. Place bird on a rack inside a roasting pan and pat dry inside
Preheat oven to 500F. Loosely stuff the cavities with the onion, lemon, celery and thyme. Rub the exterior of the turkey with olive oil. Truss turkey, tying in legs and tucking wings behind and under. Place the turkey in the oven, and set timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes rotate turkey and reduce heat to 350F.
After approximately two hours, baste turkey with butter. Baste about every half hour or so. If the breast begins to get too dark, tent the breast and wings only with foil.
The total roasting time will vary – give the bird 18 minutes per pound. But it will depend on the temp of your oven and the temperature of the bird when it went into the oven. The final temperature will need to reach 160F in the thickest part of the thigh with an internal thermometer. When the temperature hits 160F, remove the bird from the oven and set on the counter. Do not tent with foil at this point – it will make the skin soggy. Allow the bird to rest at least 30-45 minutes. Use the pan drippings to make gravy.