Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Get Your Turkey Ready

I suppose it may be a little to be posting this, but maybe not if you are a night owl? While I grabbed my turkey brine mix at World Market this turkey brining bag caught my eye. I decided to get one and try it out.

 Holy huge! This bag rocks! See this turkey? It's twenty-three pounds. Yes, 23 pounds. Last year I used a roasting bag and it was a little tight. The year before that I used a 2 gallon ziploc bag. I didn't think this turkey would fit into a 2 gallon bag. I was right. If you see one of these brining bags snatch it up. I highly recommend it. It is essentially an oversized ziploc bag, but with a gusset on the bottom so it stands upright. It will hold a massive turkey and a ton of water.

 Place your turkey in the bag. Then pour your brine over the top of it. Continue to add ice cold water until the turkey is completely submerged. I think it was about 3 gallons of water that we put in there.

 Rachel was my helper for the morning. 
The we just stuck the whole turkey in this ginormous bowl and I stuck in our garage refrigerator. Now I know that some people just use a large 5 gallon bucket and don't even use a bag. That works as well. There are so many different ways to get the job done!

Okay, let's keep moving. Maybe I can still be of some help to someone.  Tomorrow when you decide to roast your turkey dump out all of the brine and give your turkey a nice bath.  Then place your turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Next I melt a stick of butter and add some turkey herbs to the butter. Then I spread butter all over the turkey. If you don't have a turkey herb mixture here is what I sometimes use:

1 sitck of butter, melted
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. Yes, 500 degrees. 

Baste your turkey with your butter and herbs mixture. Just slather it all over. I even lift the skin up a little and put some straight onto the meat. Hold a little butter back for later.

Cover your turkey with foil.  Place the turkey in the oven. We have a thermometer probe connected to our oven, so I usually stick that in there as well. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes at 500 degrees.
Then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Roast the turkey until the temperature reaches 165 degrees internally. Then pull the foil off. Slather some more butter and herbs on the turkey. Keep roasting until the temperature reaches 175 degrees or so. Don't worry if your oven starts smoking a little. It's just the butter and it's normal. The turkey should now look beautiful and brown.

Take the turkey out. It will continue cooking itself slightly. Let the bird sit for about 30 minutes before carving. I usually keep it covered with the foil until it's ready to be carved. Good luck and email me if you have any questions. I'm not the Butterball lady, but hopefully I can help you with what has worked for us. 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Erin said...

Jan, You're my kitchen hero.

JAN said...

How did your turkey turnout?

confessionalcook said...

Since I ate my turkey in Illinois, I will be doing this soon, thanks to Erin for the directions she sent me a few years ago and now to Jan for the herb mixture.
I'd like to see how such a petite (but obviously very skilled) cook managed to throw such a large bird in the oven...