I usually only have turkey when I go visit family for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I decided this year I was going take on the task of cooking my own turkey for my family. Today was that day.
I started yesterday making up a brine using Alton Brown’s Good Eats Turkey recipe. I altered the recipe a bit to use what I had on hand.
Here’s what I did. In a large stock pot I added:
1 gallon water
8 chicken boullion cubes
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
1 Tbsp peppercorns
1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
1/2 Tbsp ground allspice
Bring to boiling and then allow to cool to room temperature. I rinsed my 11 lb turkey in cold water and immersed it into the brine, breast side down. I poured 1 gallon of chilled water over the turkey covering it completely and placed in the fridge overnight, turning it over once this morning.
When it was time to cook it, set my over to 500 degrees F., I took the turkey out of the brine, rinsed it inside and out with cold water and placed it in the pan to cook (tucking the wings back and securing the legs). I patted it dry with paper towels and rubbed it down liberally with vegetable oil. I stuck the temperature probe into the breast meat and put the pan in the oven for half an hour. When the time was up, I covered the breast meat with a double triangle of foil and put it back in at 350 degrees F until the thermometer registered 161 degrees (don’t open the oven to peek at it) and then I took it out of the oven and covered it with foil to rest for 15 minutes before cutting.
OMG! This is the absolute best turkey ever. We made it once before for Thanksgiving (I think 2006) and it was just as delicious. The brine makes the turkey so moist and cooking it at 500 degrees crisps up the skin and helps hold in the juice. I know it sounds bad to cook a turkey to 161, but the meat is done and it’s oh so juicy and delicious.
I bow down to Alton Brown and his delicious recipe! And next time you need to make a turkey, take the time to follow this recipe, you won’t be sorry!