- A Turkey – Ask your butcher the best size for your dinner
- 1/2 cup J Christopher Co. THE RUB (1/2 bottle)
- 1/2 stick butter for coating (or canola oil to stay Kosher)
- 1/2 Onion, 2 celery sticks, 2 carrots
- Brine (optional)
- Stuffing (optional)
- Roasting pan & rack
- Aluminum foil
- For the brine:
- 1 cup kosher salt.
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar.
- 1 gallon vegetable stock.
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger.
- 1 gallon heavily iced water.
Three days before:
Brine the turkey: I like Alton Brown’s brine recipe and technique.
Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.
Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:
Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining
One hour before cooking:
Rinse & blot dry your bird, then coat with butter. Generously apply THE RUB to the turkey, all over – on top, under the skin, and inside! Rough chop veggies and place inside bird.
Add your bread stuffing if you prefer, though we don’t recommend cooking it in the turkey due to cooking times. Besides, dressing is better and safer! (and Salmonella is icky…) Tie the legs together and place on roasting pan rack, in a roasting pan that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Let it rest in the refrigerator for one hour, then remove.
Heat the oven to 500˚ F and cook for 20 – 30 minutes, neck side pointing in. While cooking, take a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, long enough to fold in half and cover the turkey breast. Once the bird has browned nicely, cover it with the “breast plate” foil. Reduce the temperature to 350˚F (176˚C), return it to the oven, and cook at least to 161˚ F (71˚C) in the breast meat. Use a good probe thermometer. So, for an 18 Lbs bird, it will take about 2 to 2.5 hours more to finish cooking. Also, DO NOT BASTE! The moisture should stay in with the browned skin, so there is no need to and it just lets heat out of the oven. (Which makes dinner later…)
Rest the bird: It will continue to cook while resting for 20 – 30 minutes and reach 165˚F+ (74˚C). Plus, if you cut the turkey any sooner, the juices will go everywhere, leaving you with a dry turkey. (Dry Turkey=Bad Turkey)
Carve and serve when all the fixin’s are ready! Happy Holidays!