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Basic Brined Turkey

Courtesy of Chef Dava Parr

14-23 pound bird
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup Sucanat
5 smashed cloves of garlic
8 bay leaves
2 tablespoons freshly ground
pepper
5 quarts ice

In a large pot heat three quarts of water, salt, Sucanat, garlic, bay leaves and pepper. When the Sucanat and salt have dissolved, add the ice and stir until mostly melted. When cool, pour brine over bird, and let brine for at least 15 hours and up to 20 hours, completely submerged. (A clean ice chest/ cooler that is only a little larger than the bird is ideal for holding
the brine and the bird. I like to use frozen water bottles to keep my bird chilled. This is a better method as using ice dilutes the brine.)

On the big day, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rinse, pat dry and butter your bird. Make sure to cut off the neck, remove the sack of gizzards (save for soup or stock), and remove any globs of fat lingering around the body cavities. Tuck the wingtips under the back/neck bone and truss the legs. Place breast side up on a rack inside a roasting pan. Rack is not essential but handy if you have one. Roast for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Start checking the bird at 2½ hours and until thermometer placed in meaty part of the thigh reads between 165-170 degrees. Remove from
the oven and let it rest a bit to help the juices stay in the bird.


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