Turkey Dry Brine
- Ready In:
- 1⁄3 cup kosher salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons celery seeds
- 2 bay leaves, well crumbled
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- lemon zest or orange zest
- turkey, 14-16lbs
- For a bird averaging 14-16 pounds, use a base of 1/3 cup kosher salt. Adjust the amount of salt proportionately for smaller or larger birds, ranging from 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
- Add the typical poultry seasoning herbs and spices. For 1/3 cup salt, I use 1 1/2 teaspoons each dried rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram, celery seed, and 2 well crumbled bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. You could also add lemon or orange zest, Sichuan peppercorns, or other spice.
- Remove the giblets, neck, and excess fat (near the tail area) from the turkey and refrigerate for another use. Sprinkle the salt mixture all over the turkey, inside and out.
- Place turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour per pound. This open refrigeration will dry out the skin a little, which is good because it helps the skin release more fat during roasting.
- Just before roasting, rinse the bird very well with lukewarm water. The lukewarm water will remove the salt, but also help the bird lose its chill.
- Pat the bird dry and cook it according to your favorite method and timing.
- No need to salt and pepper the skin, but I do still give it a rub with softened butter.
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