The Perfect Turkey
Every year for our Annual kids belts Christmas Party, I bring the turkey. “Why”, you ask? Because everyone requests it, for like months prior to the party. Now that could be because I am their boss and they are just trying to make me feel good, or it could be because this is the BEST TURKEY RECIPE EVER! I’m inclined to believe the latter.
For the Brine:
For 12 -14 lbs turkey, washed and cleaned out
1 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 quarts water
2 Tbs Rosemary
Boil for 5 minutes and let sit to cool to room temp. Once at room temp, add ice to chill. Put in large bag and take out all air so brine covers the whole bird inside and out. Brine turkey overnight.
In the morning, drain the brine from the turkey, rinse the bird, pat the skin dry, and follow the cooking recipe.
Cook (The Safeway 2 Hour Turkey cooking method – seriously makes the BEST turkey EVAH!!!):
For the Turkey
1 -2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1-2 days before cooking
Clean your oven to prevent smoking of burned-on grease when cooking at high heat.
DO NOT USE A CONVECTION OVEN.
30 minutes before cooking
Preheat oven to 475º and use oven thermometer to check temperature.
- Remove and discard truss that holds turkey legs together. See Tip A. Pull or trim off and discard lumps of fat in neck and body cavity.
- Rinse turkey inside and out with warm water. Pat dry with paper towels. Rub turkey skin all over generously with olive oil. Set bird breast down and sprinkle back with salt and pepper.
- Place the adjustable V-shaped rack in the roasting pan (set rack sides so the bird is a minimum of 2 inches from pan bottom). Put turkey, breast up, on rack; sprinkle breast with salt and pepper. Fold wing tips under. See Tip B.
- Using aluminum foil, form caps over the tips of each drumstick. If wing tips extend beyond pan rim, fashion a foil collar underneath to make sure drippings flow back into pan. See Tip C. Leave legs untied. Do not add stuffing or close body cavity.
- Insert the oven-safe meat thermometer near center of breast through thickest part of breast to bone (the coldest part of the turkey and most accurate spot to check doneness). See Tip D.
- Set pan on the lowest rack in a 475° oven (do not use convection heat; it causes excessive smoking). Roast according to above time chart, checking as directed during cooking, until thermometer reaches 160°. Halfway through roasting time, rotate pan in oven to assure even cooking and browning. See Tip E. If areas on turkey breast start to get browner than you like, lay a piece of foil over the dark spots. If there is any smoke, check pan and wings for drips into oven; adjust foil under wings, or slide roasting pan onto a larger, shallow-rimmed pan.
- Remove pan from oven, set in a warm, draft-free spot, and loosely cover pan with foil to keep it warm. Let turkey rest 30 to 45 minutes. The resting period will allow the internal temperature to reach 165°, the USDA safe cooking temperature for poultry.
- Drain juices from body cavity (often plentiful in unstuffed birds) into roasting pan. If making gravy, spoon off and discard fat from drippings in pan. If drippings are dry, skim any fat from pan, then add 1 cup fat-free chicken broth; scrape drippings free. Use in Amber Gravy as directed (see 6 Delicious Side Dishes for recipe).
- Cut off turkey legs at thigh joint. See Tip F. If joint is red or pink, return legs to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes (at 300° to 475°) or heat in a microwave oven for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Carve the rest of the turkey. Turkey juices may be clear to pink or rosy; both are fine. Save juices to pour into gravy for richer flavor, if desired.
You’re welcome, I’ll go ahead and say it in advance because I know you are going to love this recipe and it will become the way you cook your holiday turkey’s from here on out. Enjoy!