I usually prefer to share recipes with my own photos, but decided to add my favorite Thanksgiving recipes and hope they’re helpful (I’ll add photos after the holiday!
Roast Juicy Turkey
Brining seems to be the most popular method to keep the bird juicy and moist. It’s a simple water/salt solution, but a few other additions can add a lot of great flavor. Brining bags are usually available at grocery stores, or use a large lobster pot with lid.
1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen or fresh young turkey
For the brine:
1 gallon water
1 ½ cups kosher salt
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1 tablespoon candied ginger
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
1 gallon iced water
For the turkey cavity:
1 red apple, quartered
1 onion, quartered
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
For the roasting pan:
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 6- 8 hours.
A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees.
Scatter the carrots, celery, and onions a roasting pan with v-rack.
Remove turkey from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.
Place bird on roasting rack over the vegetables, breast-side up, in the roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and using kitchen twine, tie the legs together. This will make a compact shape and will create a great presentation. Coat the whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.
Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with Pam, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 165 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 20 minutes before carving.