We used this recipe last year for Thanksgiving at my in-laws and it was sooo good. The turkey was juicy, flavorful and I’ve been waiting all year to share it with you.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures then and we’re going to a friends house this year so I wasn’t really sure how or when I would make a turkey before Thanksgiving.
Lucky for me my son’s Kindergarten teacher wanted to have a full on Thanksgiving Feast this past Friday for the class. She wanted the whole shebang; turkey, ham and all the fixings. I selfishly signed right up for the turkey with the intent of posting this recipe before Thanksgiving. This was a really small and cute 12 pounder which was just enough to feed 23 kindergarteners, a couple teachers and a few mom’s who helped out. I can’t recommend this recipe enough and if you’ve never cooked a turkey, this one be a great one to try.
Since we’ll be with our good friends for dinner I’ll be bringing some traditional foods from both my husband and my families for our own family and theirs. My husbands tradition is Macaroni and Cheese and mine is Chocolate Chip Brownies along with half sour pickles and marinated mushrooms. (there are some more but that is another whole post)
I would love to hear what your traditional family foods are at Thanksgiving and whether you loved or didn’t love them so much. We always had a Cauliflower “brain” that the kids NEVER touched.
Recipe is for a 16-24 pound turkey and feeds 10-12.
- 2 gallons cold water
- 10 ounces naturally brewed soy sauce
- ½ cup kosher salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons dried sage
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Salt and pepper
- 1 can low sodium chicken stock
- Brining bag
- Roasting pan with V-rack
- Aluminum foil
- Kitchen twine
- Basting or pastry brush
- Meat thermometer
- The night before roasting, remove all the stuff from inside the turkey and rinse it well, inside and out.
- Place the brining bag in your roasting pan and put all the brine items in the bag except for the water.
- Stir and mix it around until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Place the turkey in the bag then add the cold water.
- Squish everything around a bit then close off the bag with a twist tie.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Before roasting, remove the turkey from the brine and dry off with paper towels. (Gastronomy suggests clipping the bag and letting it drain into the sink, good idea!)
- Place oven rack in lowest position and preheat oven to 425.
- Line a V-rack with tin foil, poke a few holes into it and place in the roasting pan.
- Spray the foil with vegetable or olive oil.
- To prepare the turkey for roasting, trim the extra neck skin and tail piece, tie the legs together with kitchen twine, and tuck the wings under the bird.
- Brush the breast side with butter then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Flip the bird, breast side down and brush the bottom of the turkey with butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 1 hour.
- Remove the turkey from the oven.
- Lower the temperature to 325.
- Flip the turkey breast-side up using clean potholders or kitchen towels.
- Continue roasting the turkey until the thigh registers 175 on an instant-read thermometer, 1 to 2½ hours longer.
- If needed, add chicken broth to the roasting pan to prevent the drippings from burning.
- Transfer the turkey to a carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes, before carving.
If you can’t find a brining bag don’t use a roasting bag instead, it will leak. I’ve made due with a white trash bag.