Here’s the last Thanksgiving recipe for this year….and it’s possible that I have left the best for last. This was the absolute best turkey John and I have ever eaten. Hands down, no contest, BEST TURKEY EVER. Now, this turkey does take a little more planning to pull-off, but it’s so very much worth it. Please do try it this Thanksgiving!
By the way, be sure to get a gluten free turkey. And, remember to put it into the refrigerator to thaw in plenty of time. When we made this recipe we used an 18 lb turkey (HUGE!) and if we had been making it for Thanskgiving we would have had to put it into the refrigerator to thaw on the Friday before Thanksgiving. Yes, that’s right. Thanksgiving is only eight days away, so stop now and figure out when that turkey needs to go into the oven!
Roasted Brined Turkey
1 turkey (10 – 25 lbs)
2 c. table salt or 4 c. kosher salt
2 gallons water
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, cut into 1 in. pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into 1 in. pieces
1 orange, halved
6 – 8 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
large Ziplock roasting bag
Line your largest stock pot with a Ziplock roasting bag. Make the brine by combining the salt and water in a pitcher(s) and stirring until the salt has dissolved. Place the turkey (fresh or thawed, not frozen) into the lined stock pot and pour the brine in until the bag is full. Tie off the bag and refrigerate the turkey for 12 – 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and move the bottom oven rack to the lowest setting. Remove the turkey from the brine; wash and dry the inside and outside of the bird. Place the onion, celery, carrots, and orange in the cavity and brush the outside with 4 – 6 Tbsp of olive oil.
Place the turkey breast-side down on a roasting pan and pour ¾ c. water into the pan. Roast according to the following schedule and baste the back and legs with oil at least twice during the first roasting period.
If turkey weighs x: roast for y -
21 lbs: 3 hours
Take the turkey out of the oven, and using something to protect your hands, flip the turkey onto it’s back (watch out for hot juices!) Return the turkey to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F. The 2nd roasting period will take 30 – 90 minutes depending on the size of the turkey. Baste the turkey with pan drippings once or twice during this final roasting. If the turkey is getting close to being done, but is not nicely browned turn the oven up to 400 for the last 5 – 10 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven, place it on the serving platter and let is rest for 20 – 40 minutes before carving.