Thursday, November 20, 2008

Best Turkey EVER!!

I have been making this recipe for the past three years, and every time I make it there is never any left overs. It really is one of the most flavor pact, aromatic, and juiciest bird to ever exist. Okay, so can't really know that for a fact, but if it isn't it's pretty darn close. lol Warning: It's defiantly a labor of love, but hey it only happens once a year, and aren't our loved ones worth the trouble? This year I made a few adjustments to make it a bit healthier. Other than that it is exactly the same recipe I've been making since I created it. A few key notes. Buy all your ingredients ahead of time, begin prepping the day before, and defiantly invest in a meat thermometer. Other than that I really hope you enjoy this recipe.

(Recipe adaptation from Party Line with the Hearty Boys, Good Eats, and Everyday Italian)


1 (14 to 15-pound) turkey, neck and giblets reserved


1 gallon vegetable stock (don’t buy low sodium, you need the salt content for the brine)
2 cups kosher salt
2 cups sugar free maple syrup (sugar free pancake syrup is ok too)
2 bunches fresh thyme
6 bay leaves
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1 bottle of red wine
small bucket of ice
2 Glad turkey bags

1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 onion, cut into wedges
6 fresh rosemary sprigs
6 fresh sage sprigs
6 fresh oregano sprigs

7 tablespoons unsalted light butter
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence (please see note below on how to make your own.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 package pre-cut celery
4 large onions, cut in half
5 whole carrots, washed and peeled

herbes de Provence (combine and place in airtight jar)
3 Tablespoons dried marjoram
3 Tablespoons dried thyme
3 Tablespoons dried savory
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1. Combine all brine ingredients, except the wine, ice, and glad bag, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, add ice to cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

2. Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and wine. Place thawed/rinsed turkey inside glad turkey bag, fill bag with brine, completely close bag, and double bag it through other end, refrigerate or set in cooler with ice for at least 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

3. Ten minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Also take this time to arrange all base vegetables on roasting pan. (order does not matter) This will be used instead of a roasting rack.

4. Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

5. Place bird directly onto pre-arranged vegetable base. Add aromatics to cavity.

6. Stir 2 tablespoons of butter, the herbes de Provence, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of each the salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until the butter melts. Rub the butter mixture all over the turkey and between the turkey breast meat and skin. Tuck back wings and drumsticks.

7. Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving. ( I highly recommend investing in a meat thermometer, it’s the best way to ensure the you don’t overcook/under cook the turkey)

*Reserve roasted vegetable base for stuffing and gravy



MissKrissD from OH said...

You are soooooooo absolutely right. I made this turkey and HOLY COW....everyone loved it. I was so juicy and flavorful. My dad said, "This is the best turkey I have ever eaten." I just wanted to thank you for such an awesome recipe. I will be making this every year now.

MRSaphrodites said...

I am soo excited you got to try the recipe. It's defiantly one of those recipes you just want to make over and over again. I'm very happy you and your family liked it, and thanks for leaving a comment.