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    You are in: Home / Recipes / The Perfect Turkey Recipe
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    The Perfect Turkey

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    28 hrs

    24 hrs

    4 hrs

    Splash035's Note:

    I made this for my big family Thanksgiving dinner a couple years ago. Since then, I've been the designated turkey maker. This turkey is so juicy and full of flavor, you'll never want another turkey again.

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    Units: US | Metric

    For the brine

    For the aromatics

    For baste


    1. 1
      The night before cooking, combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil.
    2. 2
      Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
    3. 3
      When cooled, combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket.
    4. 4
      Remove the neck and gizzard from the turkey.
    5. 5
      Rinse the bird thoroughly with cold water and pat dry.
    6. 6
      Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area.
    7. 7
      Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.
    8. 8
      Day of cooking, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
    9. 9
      Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
    10. 10
      Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water.
    11. 11
      Discard brine.
    12. 12
      Pat turkey dry with paper towels.
    13. 13
      Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the breasts and drumsticks and slip the sage leaves underneath.
    14. 14
      Rub the entire surface with softened butter.
    15. 15
      Sprinkle the skin and cavity with salt and pepper.
    16. 16
      Add warm aromatics to the cavity.
    17. 17
      In a small sauce pan, add stick of butter and wine and keep warm on low heat for baste.
    18. 18
      Place turkey, legs first, in oven.
    19. 19
      Cook for 30 minutes.
    20. 20
      Remove from oven and using a pastry brush, baste turkey with butter-and-wine mixture.
    21. 21
      Cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil.
    22. 22
      Turn roasting pan so that the breast is facing the back of the oven.
    23. 23
      Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to cook for 2 more hours, basting every 30 minutes and watching pan juices; if the pan gets too full, spoon out juices, reserving them for gravy.
    24. 24
      After the second hour of cooking, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, avoiding any bones.
    25. 25
      The temperature should reach 180 degrees and the turkey should be golden brown.
    26. 26
      The breast does not need to be checked for temperature.
    27. 27
      If legs are not yet fully cooked, baste turkey, return the aluminum, return to oven, and cook another 20 to 30 minutes.
    28. 28
      When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter and let rest for about 30 minutes.

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    Nutritional Facts for The Perfect Turkey

    Serving Size: 1 (1557 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 8

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 1755.9
    Calories from Fat 863
    Total Fat 95.9 g
    Saturated Fat 35.1 g
    Cholesterol 678.4 mg
    Sodium 14960.9 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 18.9 g
    Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
    Sugars 16.3 g
    Protein 185.9 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:

    fresh sage leaves

    vegetable stock

    allspice berries

    candied ginger



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