We had a 22lb turkey cut down the middle for another use. Decided to try this instead for thanksgiving. We also used a 64 oz jar of cran-apple juice so did not use the apples. Marinated overnight and then put the bird split side down and smoked it about 4 1/2 hours on the Treager before finishing off to the right temp and then tenting the halves and letting them rest. Must say it was as the family said " You out did yourself on this one! Thanks for making me look so good. I had never split a turkey before but do believe it made a difference with the brine. Am going to try splitting our next turkey too.
I normally fry turkeys for Thanksgiving, but this year we decided to roast. I decided to give brining a try because there is nothing dryer than a roasted turkey breast. I have to say, brining is definitely the way to go. Our 25lb bird was so juicy and succulent, we may not go back trying. As for the cranberry; well I may not do that again. Frankly I didn't feel the cranberry imparted any cranberry flavor, but the sugars in the cranberry caused the bird to burn. I should have gotten a clue from the picture posted for this recipe. I had to cover the bird with foil for the last hour or so to keep it from turning completely black, and I was roasting at 325. Next year, if I brine, I'm going to omit the cranberry and add habanero peppers.
I did this as a dry run in September using an 8 lb chicken and it turned out really nice! I ended up following your directions with the recipe stuffing instead of using my own. Since I did not have any cranberries at this time of year for the stuffing I used some jarred cranberry sauce and stirred it all up with the other ingredients for the stuffing. I did follow the chefâ€™s advice about taking the 8 lb chicken out in the morning (about 10 hrs) instead of brining for the full 24 hours however I think that it could have probably stayed in the brine for the full 24 hours. It did have tinges of pink when it was raw and even though it tasted fantastic the flavour of the cranberry was fairly faint. I feel it could have been more for my taste even though originally I thought the cranberry taste would overpower but it did not! More cranberry flavour could possibly be resolved by used real cranberries on Turkey day. The chicken did come out looking as if it was burnt, but it definitely was not! It was juicy and delicious! After I had made the recipe, I was advised by the chef to put some foil over the delicate parts of the bird during the first part of the roasting and then remove it later to get a more even colour. Thanks Karen for the great recipe and your quick replies on advice! I am going to give this a go for Thanksgiving with a big olâ€™ turkey this year! Watch this space! :) EDIT: I did do this for Thanksgiving and got rave reviews from my hubby and guests. Moist and delicious. I did do my giblet stuffing this time so omitted that part of the recipe. Just sorry I couldn't get a better picture as everyone couldn't wait to eat!
This made for a very tender, tasty turkey. However, the bottom portion of my bird was not cooked when the breast registered on my meat thermometer. I have never had that happen before & the only thing I can think that might account for it was roasting on the vegetable bed rather than a rack. Next time, it's back to the rack for me.
we'll see after thanksgiving dinner. Talk to you then. and oh! happy thanksgiving