Whenever I’m in charge of making the turkey for Thanksgiving, which I usually am, I always like to roast the bird. There are so many ways to cook a Thanksgiving turkey, and I think roasting has always been the best way to do it. If you’re interested in learning how to have the best roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, follow my recipe and you will not regret it. My number one piece of advice for any newcomer to the turkey cooking game would be to always brine your turkey ahead of time. My recipe has very few ingredients, and it’s easy to follow along. Don’t get worried that this will be too difficult for you to do, I know you can do it!
13 – 16 pound turkey
1 cup Kosher salt + 1 teaspoon separated
1 cup granulated sugar
5-5 1/2 quarts of water separated
8 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
4 tablespoons canola oil separated
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
4 teaspoons TAK House Seasoning
Allow 3-4 days for turkey to thaw completely in the refrigerator.
The day or night before you intend to serve the turkey, bring Kosher salt, sugar and 2 quarts of water to a roaring boil in a large sauce pan. Allow to boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and salt have dissolved and are no longervisible. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
If desired, carefully remove the neck and tail of the bird using poultry shears, and trim any excess skin. Discard of the innards or reserve for another use.
Place brining bag in a large rimmed roasting pan and add the turkey breast-side down. Very carefully, pour cooled brine over the turkey along with 3 – 3 1/2 quarts more room temperature water, enough so that the water just covers the turkey once secured in bag. Release as much air as possible from the brining bag before tightly securing closed. Place in the refrigerator and allow to brine overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 425°.
About 1-2 hours before you intend to roast the turkey, remove it from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel all over, and allow the turkey to sit out at room temperature to remove the chill. In the meantime, start putting together your compound butter.
To make the compound butter, using a whisk or fork, mix together butter, 2 tbsp of canola, minced herbs and TAK Seasoning until well-combined. Set aside until ready to use.
On a large work surface, begin to separate the skin of the turkey from the flesh and massage two-thirds of the compound butter under the skin of the turkey, minding the legs, thighs, and wings as well as the breasts.
Use the remaining compound butter to massage evenly across the surface of the turkey. Drizzle the outside of the turkey with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of Kosher salt. Massage over the surface of the turkey once more. If you would like to add aromatics, place them within the carcass of the bird.
Truss the bird using butchers twine: Tightly secure together the legs of the turkey by tying a string of butchers twine tightly around the end of the drum. Using a much longer strand of twine, place it under the backbone of the bird and center it across the middle of the wings. Bring the twine up and over the wings and secure tightly with a knot atop the breast bone. Reposition wings if necessary so that they are neatly tucked under the twine. Take a third piece of twine and loop it underneath the other two pieces, then gently pull it upwards until the turkey legs begin to come inward and are slightly elevated. Secure with a knot and trim all of the excess twine.
Carefully transfer the turkey to a large roasting pan, fitted with a rack and roast for 30 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°, lightly tent with aluminum foil and continue to roast for 2 hours.
After 2 hours have passed, use a digital cooking thermometer to check the turkey for doneness. If your turkey has not yet reached the optimal temperature, re-cover it with aluminum foil and return to the oven.
Continue checking the temperature about every 15 minutes or so thereafter.
Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.
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Quick Tip: Use fresh herbs for the most aromatic turkey.
Recipe and image courtesy of: The Anthony Kitchen
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