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Roast Brined Turkey


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  • 1 fresh turkey - (abt 16 lbs)
  • 1 pound kosher salt - (abt 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • Double-thick piece cheesecloth 24" square


Servings 12


Step 1

Remove the giblets and neck, if included, and reserve for making gravy, if desired. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water. In a large pot or 5-gallon bucket, combine the salt and 1 gallon of cold water and stir to mix. Carefully set the turkey in the water and add more cold water to cover by 2 to 3 inches. Refrigerate or place the container in a very cool place (32 to 40 degrees) for 8 to 12 hours.

Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well and pat dry with paper towels. Let the turkey come to room temperature, at least 1 hour but no more than 1 1/2 hours.

Position a rack in the bottom of an oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, celery, thyme, parsley and half of the butter, and toss to mix. Pack the body and neck cavities loosely with the vegetables. With kitchen twine, truss the legs together loosely and secure the neck flap to the back with a couple of trussing pins or sturdy toothpicks. Rub the turkey with half of the remaining butter and set the bird on its side on a rack in a large roasting pan.

Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the turkey on its other side and roast for 15 minutes more. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Soak the cheesecloth in the remaining butter, turn the turkey breast-side up and place the cheesecloth over the breast. Add about 1/2 cup water to the pan.

Continue roasting, basting with the pan juices every 15 to 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the breast registers 165 degrees, and inserted into the thigh, away from the bone, registers 180 degrees. If the breast begins to cook too quickly, tent loosely with aluminum foil. Total roasting time should be about 3 hours. Let the turkey rest 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

This recipe yields 12 servings.

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