This bird is soaked in brine, stuffed with vegetables and fruit, and basted at least once every half hour. It's a recipe I made up about 4 years ago. It's time consuming, but the result is soooo worth it!!! I usually buy a turkey about 16 pounds and it feeds a hungry group of at least 8, with few left-overs! Not that it needs to be said, but buy a turkey that suits your family's size.
- 1 (15 lb) whole turkey
- 2 cups kosher salt
- 1 gallon water
- 2 shallots, cut large pieces
- 4 garlic cloves (whole)
- 3 small apples, cut large pieces (I use Fuji)
- 3 small bermuda onions, cut large pieces
- 1 orange, cut large pieces
- 1 lemon, cut into large pieces
- 3 carrots, cut into large pieces
- 1 bunch leek, cut into large pieces
- 1 head celery, cut into large pieces
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, left on stem
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, fresh cut
- 8 bay leaves
- 1⁄2 gallon apple cider
- 2 (12 ounce) bottlesof guinness beer
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1⁄2 lb unsalted butter
- salt, lightly sprinkled
- pepper, freshly ground
- Thaw turkey as directed on packaging.
- Remove giblets from inside.
- Rinse completely inside and out.
- In a container large enough to hold the turkey, mix the water and kosher salt.
- Place cold turkey in solution and allow to soak for 24 hours.
- Be sure to keep it cold, if you can't refrigerate it, add ice throughout the day as needed.
- Remove the turkey from the brine solution.
- To infuse the meat with flavor, fill the cavity of the bird with garlic, leeks, herbs (set aside enough bay leaves to insert under skin later), citrus fruit, onions, apples, carrots, celery, shallots. You won't use all the fruit and veggies you cut during preparation to fill the bird, so don't panic.
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Use a roasting pan with a V-Rack in the pan.
- Fill 1/3 of the pan with apple cider, beer, chicken broth, and any remaining filling for the bird.
- Truss the bird before roasting if not sold that way.
- Insert Bay Leaves under skin all over, as much or as little as you like.
- Rub entire bird with softened butter.
- Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Place turkey on roasting pan.
- This pan will be VERY HEAVY--you may need some strong arms to assist putting in oven!
- Reduce heat to 325.
- Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes per pound, use a digital thermometer, till internal temp reaches 160.
- The temp will rise while the turkey is resting, be sure not to let it rise above 160 while cooking in oven!
- Tent the bird loosely with foil during the first hour of cooking and cover it again if the skin starts getting too brown.
- Baste the turkey every 1/2 hour with more softened butter and the juices in the bottom of the pan. I use an injector about every hour as well.
- After cooking, allow turkey to rest for a half hour before carving.
- ENJOY THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR!
My sister has done this for Thanksgiving the past 2 years and it truly is the best turkey ever! So moist and flavorful and the drippings make the best gravy!