I have no shame. I tell no lies. Judge me if you will, I don’t care. Life goes on! :) I confess, I have NEVER EVER prepared a turkey in my life. I know nothing about it. Yes, I’ve roasted a chicken and a cornish hen in the past, but never dare battle the great turkey. I thought it was supposed to be complicated. I thought it was supposed to be challenging. I was so wrong! Anyone can make this!!!!
I used the Alton Brown method. I advise you to watch the videos and follow suit. Not only did this method work, but it produced a lovely even golden skinned bird with juicy-buttery meat via very little effort on my part. I support that.
First Up… The Brine:
- 1 gallon of vegetable broth (nothing like your own… but store bought is fine).
- 1 Cup of course salt (2 cups if you use low sodium broth)
- .5 - 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6-8 star anise cloves
- ~ 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
- ~ 2 tablespoons of celery seeds
6 bruised cardamon pods
- 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
- 1 - 2 tablespoons of thyme
- 1 Gallon of water, iced. (One gallon of water with ice added).
Add all of the herbs/seeds and broth to a pot and bring to a boil. Add the salt and sugar and stir until dissolved. I let this simmer covered for about 30 minutes or so… According to Alton, you should allow this to cool overnight in the fridge. I agree, but if you’re pressed for time allow it to cool asap via a chilled bath in the sink, etc..
Second… The bird:
- 1 Turkey, aka bird
- Coconut oil to coast the bird
- aromatics (lemon sliced in half, ginger, apples, herbs, etc.)
The bird should not be frozen. However, if it is frozen you should allow it to bring and thaw for a few days. Consult a turkey profession for such answers.
Remove the stuff from the bird and do with it what you will. Wash your bird. Place your bird in a brine bag or (very sterile) clean bucket. Add the brine. Note, if you need to cool the brine, you can also ice the brine a bit… but not too much. Add the iced water. Let this sit in the fridge overnight… or two nights.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Give your oven time to crank up the heat.
Remove the bird from the brine and wash it well. Pat it dry with a paper towel. As per Alton’s instructions, make your turkey triangle and put it to the side. Coat the bird with a generous portion of coconut oil. Canola oil, aka rapeseed oil, is not good for you and used as a pesticide (along with soy bean oil). Look that up if you want. Anyway… Coat with coconut oil and and place the aromatics in the cavity of the bird. Note, aromatics didn’t make that much of a difference. Place the bird in the preheated oven for an hour.
After an hour has passed, place the turkey triangle on the bird. Put the bird back in the oven and cook at 350 until done. DO NOT BASTE. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN. Walk away. Stay away. Come back around 1.5 hours. There are many ways to tell if a turkey is done. My turkey cooked for about 1.75 hours at 350 and I couldn’t believe how tasty and juice it was..
I went a bit crazy with the pods and seeds, but you can make the brine any way you want. Rind + juice to give it some hints of sweet citrus. Curry… Soy, ginger and chiles… A plethora of possibilities…