An easy way to make the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey at home!
How to make the perfect Turkey at home? This question comes up in most households a few days before Thanksgiving. The answer is very easy, everyone has their secret solution to this question.
My answer is very simple and it is based and built on years of trial and error, as with anything else experience is important. There were years, I did not plan it out correctly and I would be panicking and stress just made things worse, it did not help.
The most important part is to Plan ahead. I ordered a fresh 12 lbs. Turkey and ended up picking up on Tuesday a 13.5 lbs. Turkey. (There was some room for error)
Based on the size of the bird I brined it for about 12-13 hours. The solution is easy as well: one cup of coarse Kosher Salt and about six quarts of water warmed until the salt dissolved. Then a whole bunch of aromatics, such as bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, orange zest, lemon zest, whole pepper corns, whole cloves and Herbs of Provence. The brining solution should be room temperature. Place the Turkey in a Stainless-Steel pot and pour the solution to cover the meat. Place the cover on the pot and let it sit in the refrigerator for 12-13 hours. The idea is not to marinate or season the Turkey, just to add flavored moisture to be absorbed by the meat. Consider this as “insurance” that your Turkey will be moist.
Once the time is up drain the liquid and put back the Turkey in the same container in the Refrigerator until you are ready to bake it.
When I am 15 minute out I take the Turkey out, use one stick of salt free butter cut it in about eight squares and slide the butter under the skin of the Turkey, the side that will be up, and I also throw one inside the cavity, then throw a bay leaf and some Italian parsley in the cavity as well at the bottom of the pan I have onions sliced, carrots and a couple of root vegetables such as turnips and rutabagas, a cup of white wine whatever is in the fridge gets used. Then last step I brush the skin with olive oil (use top of the line cold pressed but any will do).
In the meantime, I set the temperature to 325 degrees and I put the Turkey in for 3.5 hrs. This is where you need to trust your oven. I never open the oven; hence I have perfect even temperature for the time it is in the oven. Once I take it out I let it rest for 30 minutes before I do the carving.
Yes, I know my mother used to cover it with bacon and used a basting tool to add liquids on top of and inside the turkey. Look at the picture and take my word it is the most flavorful and moist turkey imaginable.
Easy and stress free. The sides get made before, since most people do not have company until about 4:30 -5pm so you can bake the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, as well as the crescent rolls or other rolls before. While the Turkey is baking make the green beans, the butternut squash and while the Turkey is resting warm the rest of the sides in the oven.
If you are interested how to make those as well, please let me know and I will write about how to do that next time. Just to give you an idea the only thing I made in advance was the Cranberry Sauce and the only thing I bought ready to serve was the Trader Joe’s Turkey gravy. Reason being theirs is so good so why go through the trouble.
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