Prep 48 hrs
Cook 3 hrs
The Washington Post, November 19, 2008 From Gastronomer columnist Andreas Viestad.
- 1 (12 -14 lb) whole turkey (neck and giblets removed from the cavity)
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth or 8 cups turkey stock or 8 cups turkey broth
- 4 cups apple juice, preferably unsweetened
- fresh herb, such as rosemary and sage
- 5 tablespoons fine sea salt
- unsalted butter, at room temperature
- boiling water or stock, for the roasting pan
- Place the turkey in an extra-large plastic food storage bag.
- Combine the stock or broth, apple juice, herbs and salt; add to the bag. Close the bag tightly and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days, preferably contained within a bucket or large bowl (to collect any spillage); turn over as needed to make sure the whole bird gets brined.
- Remove the bird from the bag and place on the kitchen counter; discard the brine and herbs.
- Place some ice cubes in a large plastic food storage bag and drape it over the breast of the turkey. Let it sit for 2 hours. This will allow the turkey legs to warm to room temperature while the breast remains cold.
- Meanwhile, remove the middle and bottom racks in the oven; preheat to 350 degrees.
- Place the turkey on the roasting rack that fits inside a large roasting pan (snip off 1/2 inch of the wing tips, if desired; they tend to burn). Rub the bird with butter. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the breast to protect it while cooking.
- Place the roasting pan on the oven floor. Pour 1 cup of hot water or stock into the roasting pan. During roasting, check regularly to make sure there is some liquid in the pan; add water or stock as needed.
- After 2 1/2 hours, allow the water in the roasting pan to evaporate, or use a turkey baster to extract it. Remove the foil from the breast. Baste the bird with cooking juices or rub it with more butter. Increase the temperature to 375 degrees and roast for 20 minutes to give the bird a crisp skin and nice brown color, checking regularly to ensure that it doesn't burn. (It will be more sensitive to heat because of the sugars in the apple juice; cover loosely with foil as needed.).
- The turkey is done when the juices run clear from a fork or knife prick in the turkey thigh meat and its internal temperature registers 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. If the juices are pink, roast for 10 minutes and check again.
- Allow the bird to rest for at least 30 minutes, and preferably 1 hour, before carving.