An Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe...
It's Almost Revolutionary!
If you're looking for a great Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey recipe, this one will revolutionize your holiday table. Seriously, it really might.
In your search for the perfect turkey, you've probably read about all the turkey cooking methods there are. Deep frying turkey is supposed to seal in the juices and crisp the skin. Brining is suppose to give the birds tons of moisture and a deep flavor. Then there's high heat roasting, bag roasting, grilling, smoking... you name it.
But the easiest way to make a wonderful Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey recipe is the one we're going to outline below. The idea comes from Russ Parsons, who wrote about this revolutionary way to cook a your Thanksgiving turkey for the LA Times. We've transformed the concept into an easy-to-follow recipe that will make the most impressive bird you've ever had. And the easiest.
We have more great turkey recipes and how-to's at our Ultimate Holiday Turkey Guide.
EASY EASY Dry Brined Turkey Recipe
You've probably heard that brining is the best way to make your Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey recipe moist and flavorful. But if you've tried it, you also know that brining can be a real pain in the butt. Dealing with a huge turkey in an even huger vat of salty water just isn't a lot of fun. Unless you like the idea of spilling cold raw-turkey water all down your front, the method we talk about here, dry brining, will seem like a much
more attractive option.
Dry brining makes for a super moist Thanksgiving turkey recipe with a better texture than wet-brined turkey, which can get a bit spongy from its long soak. But like wet brining, the flavor you get from salt-brining is deep and delciious-- it gets pulled right into the meat.
Dry salt brining works just like traditional salt-water brining. After sprinkling the turkey with salt, you let it sit for several days. The salt pulls a lot of the moisture from the meat. During the time that it sits, that salty moisture gets pulled back in, and the salty turkey juices moisten and brine the meat. Pretty cool, huh?
Ready to get started? Here's how you dry brine your Thanksgiving turkey recipe.
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1 (12 to 16 lb.) turkey, thawed
1 tbsp. kosher salt for each 5 lbs of bird
1/3 C. melted butter
Instructions: 1. Have the turkey thawed and ready to go four days before you plan to cook this Thanksgiving turkey recipe. Remove giblet packet.
2. Sprinkle entire turkey with salt, using 1 tbsp. of salt for each 5 lbs. of turkey. Concentrate the bulk of your salting on the thickest parts of the turkey: the breast and the thigh sections. Also sprinkle inside the cavity.
3. Place turkey in a large resealable bag (2.5 gallon bags should do it). Allow to sit, brining the refrigerator, for three days.
4. After three days, remove the bag. You should not be able to see any salt on the surface of the turkey, which should be moist, but not wet. Allow the turkey to air dry in the refrigerator overnight (8 hours or more). This will keep the skin on this Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey recipe crisp.
5. Before cooking, allow the turkey to come to room temperature.
6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare bird as desired, brush with butter, and cook in a roasting pan with roasting rack, breast-side-down, for 30 minutes at 425.
7. After 30 minutes, flip the bird and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
8. Cook turkey until interior temperature at the deepest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees F, about 2 hours and 15 minutes more.
9. Remove from oven. Let sit, tented with foil, 30 minutes to settle and allow juices to redistribute.
10. Watch your guests enjoy the moistest, most delightfully-textured bird they've ever tasted!
Note: Once you've tried this wonderful Thanksgiving turkey recipe, you may want to experiment with it. Try stuffing the cavity with aromatics, like rosemary, garlic, or citrus. Try a flavored kosher salt in place of the plain stuff. It's a flexible recipe, so have fun with it!