Thursday, October 8, 2009

The turkey brine....then the turkey

I tried this recipe from Fine Cooking a few years ago and now I can't make a turkey dinner without it! That's what my family tells me anyway!

You will need a big pot... I use my canning pot and it is perfect. The brine is for ~ a 12-14 lb turkey. I like to buy a grain fed fresh bird for the best results.

In your pot add:

  • 1 cup maple syrup

  • 24 bay leaves

  • 24 cloves garlic peeled

  • 1 small bunch sage (the herb garden)!

  • 2 small bunches flat leaf parsley (yay the herb garden)!!

  • 1 small bunch thyme(guess where from)?

  • 1 small bunch sage (yup, you guessed it)!

  • 6 sprigs rosemary... I had to buy this one

  • zest from 4 lemons peeled in long strips and squeeze juice in pot

  • 1 1/2 cup kosher salt

  • 2 1/2 gallons water

Boil for 5 minutes. Cool overnight and brine turkey for 24 hours. Rinse well and dry.

Make an herb butter with 1 cup unsalted butter, 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots, 1/2 cup dry white wine, 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley1/4 cup thyme and 1/4 cup chopped sage.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a skillet and add the shallots for ~2-3 minutes, add wine and boil until evaporated then add the rest of the herbs and cook until fragrant... Refrigerate.

When chilled, add to the remaining butter and mix well preferably in a food processor.

Place on a piece of plastic wrap and form a log. Refrigerate until you are ready to prepare the turkey for roasting.

Place 1/4 inch slices of the chilled butter under the skin, breast and legs, massage to spread the butter under the skin.

Sprinkle the bird lightly with salt and pepper, brush with melted butter and cover with foil. Point the legs towards the back of the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for the first 2 hours. Remove foil and roast for another hour until the temperature of the bird reaches 170-175 degrees. Cover with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before slicing. This is by far the tastiest turkey you will ever eat!!

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