Time: 24 hours of brining; about 3 hours roasting
Music Selection: Alan Walker – Faded
Christmas Music Selection: Carol of the Bells
It is our family tradition to have turkey at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. Quite often, we host these events for both of our families and I enjoy brining and roasting the turkey. I am fortunate, as my mom, is an amazing cook/chef who owned restaurants, catering companies and keeps friends/families full of food and love! What that means, is my load is light at these events. My mom always makes sides and desserts, she makes the gravy and my dad carves the turkey! It is tradition. My brothers and sister-in-laws, always bring extras. We always have too much and we are always blessed by each other’s company! I am pairing the recipe with two music selections – Faded, as that is how you feel about an hour after one of our big dinners, and we sit and reminisce about many past dinners. The other is a Christmas selection, because the motion of ringing the bells reminds me of “Ta-Dah, the turkey is ready!”
As an FYI – this turkey is sooooo moist, that even a day or two later it will be moist and tasty! AND because of the brining, you don’t need to buy the most expensive turkey to have a wonderful, delicious, moist roasted turkey!
1 turkey (about 15 lbs) – we usually get a frozen one
2 large oranges, cut into six pieces each
1 big bunch of rosemary
1 big bunch of thyme
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 head of garlic (about 6 cloves, all sliced in halves)
In large pot that the turkey can brine in (or other large container), fill the container ½ full of water. Add sliced oranges (squeeze them a bit into the water), rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and brown sugar. Mix well until salt and sugar are dissolved.
Add the turkey with the breast down. Fill the pot with water to the very top. If any part of the turkey is not under water, cover it with a paper towel or towel, so that it will keep moist by sticking the towel in the water. Let brine for at least 8 – 24 hours. If your turkey is frozen it will need nearly 24 hours to thaw. We leave our pot at room temperature, but if you have a fresh turkey, then brine it in the fridge.
When you are about 3 hours from dinner time, preheat your oven to 375 deg F. Remove turkey from brine and pat it dry. Place it in your roaster with a bit of olive oil on the bottom. Brush your turkey with olive oil and then salt/pepper it. Take the rosemary, oranges, thyme and garlic and stuff your turkey with them. They will help steam the turkey, but the flavour will go through the turkey and if you use the liquid later in your gravy, it will be very flavorful.
Bake the turkey uncovered for about 30 – 45 minutes until the skin is brown. Then put the lid on the roaster and bake about another 2 hours.
Check it at that time to see if it is done. Because of the brine, you should have plenty of liquid for the gravy. Let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving.
Serve with mashed potatoes, gravy, glazed carrots (and if you are Ukrainian – then you must have cabbage rolls, perogies, perishke, nelesniky)… yum!
PS – save all the turkey bones to make turkey broth that can be frozen and made into soup in a few weeks, when you want to reminisce about Christmas or… if you have the sniffles.
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