On Friday I posted on my facebook page asking what you the readers wanted to see on the blog. If you have any ideas hop on over to the Multiply Delicious facebook page and leave your comments or just leave me your comments below. I would love to hear what you guys are dying to hear.
One of the comments on Friday asked for Thanksgiving recipe ideas. Can you believe Thanksgiving is next Thursday! Wow! This year is totally flying by! With that being said, this week is going to be all about Thanksgiving! I’ll be posting recipes all involving one of my favorite holidays….Thanksgiving! Thanks Ericka for the idea too!
First up is the recipe for my favorite Turkey Brine and Thanksgiving Roasted Turkey. I have been using this recipe since 2006. I’m amazed I’ve never posted it on here either. Shame on me! This brine is my favorite and it’s my families favorite too. If I even think of changing it up I would have upset people in my life. So I haven’t switched up, after all I don’t want to have anybody upset on Thanksgiving. Ha!
Now what is a turkey brine you may ask? A turkey brine is basically a water bath/marinade which causes the meat tissues to absorb water and flavorings by breaking down the proteins. It is my favorite way to prepare my Thanksgiving turkey because any moisture loss while roasting still produces a juicy and flavorful turkey. With brining your turkey you have to start the day before to get the best results.
A few tips when choosing to brine your turkey:
- You do not want to brine a kosher or self-basting bird. Otherwise the turkey will be too salty.
- Many people will tell you to brine your turkey in heavy duty garbage bags, Home Depot style pails, and XXL size ziplock bags. I’ve read that garbage bags shouldn’t be used because they are not made from food-grade plastic. I usually buy the XXL Turkey Brine Bags from Williams-Sonoma or buy the ones Whole Foods sells.
- I suggest you at least brine your bird for 1 hour for every pound. If you go over the 1 hour per pound that is fine but try not to do less.
Now let’s drive into the recipe, because it is a long one.
Thanksgiving Turkey Brine
1 – 12-16 pound turkey (neck and giblets removed and discarded)
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
3 sprigs each rosemary, thyme and sage
6 sprigs Italian parsley
1/2 cup iodized salt
3 gallons cold water
One day before baking turkey, prepare brine. Combine all brine ingredients. Place the turkey in extra large brine bag and pour brine over turkey submerging it. Place in a cooler surrounded by ice in your hopefully cold garage or if you have room, in your refrigerator. Let turkey sit in brine for 12 to 24 hours. Remove turkey from brine; dry off turkey with paper towels. Discard brine.
Thanksgiving Turkey Preparation
Inside the turkey:
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
1 apple, sliced into wedges
1 orange, sliced into wedges
4 garlic cloves, peeled, whole
Under the Bird:
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot. diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, whole
3 sprigs each of sage, rosemary, thyme
6 sprigs Italian parsley
3 bay leaves
On the Bird:
4 tablespoons ghee, sliced into pats – plus 1 more tablespoon
5 cups low sodium free-range chicken broth
2 tablespoons rosemary, diced
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
sea salt and black pepper to season
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Brine turkey as instructed above. Salt and pepper the brined turkey and cavity. Fill the cavity with carrots, celery, apple, orange, and garlic; bind the legs with kitchen twine.
In a large roasting pan, spread onion, carrot, celery, garlic, sage,rosemary, thyme, parsley and bay leaves. Place the turkey on top of the bed of vegetables and herbs.
Put ghee on turkey, or between skin and breast meat (or a combo of both). I usually melt the ghee slightly if I place on the outside of the turkey.
Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Pour half the chicken stock over turkey; roast an additional 45 minutes. Pour remaining stock over turkey and roast 45 more minutes; it will start turning golden brown. Baste with pan juices.
In a small bowl, mix together honey, rosemary, and 1 tablespoon melted ghee. With a pastry brush, brush mixture on the turkey.
Cover loosely with foil and roast an additional 45 minutes. When the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165 or 175 degrees, remove from oven, keep covered and let rest at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Transfer to platter and serve.
For a simple gravy:
From the bottom of the roasting pan, discard herbs and measure out 1 cup of vegetables and 3 cups of pan juices; puree in a blender or food processor. To thicken, add more vegetables; to thin add more pan juices. Pour through a mesh strainer to make smooth gravy.