Thanksgiving 2015: Butter + Herb Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!

One of my favorite holidays of the year because you get to be thankful while eating hella good food (and I’m always thankful to be able to eat good food so Thanksgiving is always a self-fulfilling prophecy). The combination of a 2 day wet brine combined with a butter herb coating on the turkey is the ultimate one-two punch to unlock all the juiciness and flavor that your bird has to offer.

 

DSC_0322Fig 1. The bird’s the word. (yes, the turkey is upside down)

INGREDIENTS (FOR 15-20 LB TURKEY PREP)

For wet brine
-14 cups of chicken broth
-4 cups of water
-3/4 cup kosher salt
-1 tablespoon thyme
-1 tablespoon rosemary
-1 tablespoon bay leaves

For butter + herb coating
-1 stick of butter
-1 teaspoon thyme
-1 teaspoon rosemary
-salt + pepper to taste

PROCEDURE

1) Make sure turkey is completely defrosted and giblets/neck removed prior to brining
2) Combine all the ingredients listed for the wet brine into a large pot and stir until all salt is dissolved in solution
2) Put turkey in the wet brine mixture prepared in step 1 (breast-side down). Ensure entire turkey is completely submerged
3) Allow turkey to brine for 2 days before beginning to cook (woaaah osmosis)
4) On the day of cooking; preheat oven to 425F
5) Pat the turkey dry and place on oven rack
5) Mix butter, thyme, rosemary and salt/pepper into a bowl and rub mixture throughout the turkey underneath the skin
6) Put turkey in oven. Add fresh thyme, rosemary and sage and cover the roasting pan with foil. Roast it at 425F for 20-30 minutes to nuke-sear the turkey
7) Set the oven temperature back down to 325F and let it cook until the temperature of the deepest part of the meat registers around 170-180F (approx 2.5-3 hours). Baste the turkey with the turkey juice every 20-30 minutes
8) If desired color is not yet achieved, nuke the turkey towards the end until roasted brown color is obtained (uncover turkey from foil; and be sure to check every 5 minutes to ensure no burning)
9) Take turkey out of the oven and let it settle (keep in mind inner temp will increase 10-20F if covered in foil)
10) Carve turkey and enjoy!

OBSERVATIONS
Approx Time:
2 days prep; 3 hours cooking
Difficulty: 7/10

-I learnt from a friend that rubbing the butter underneath the turkey skin really makes a world of difference in terms of the #FLAVORGAINZPlacing the fatty butter on top of the skin would just simply make the butter slide off, as the skin isnt as permeable to fats. However, by rubbing the butter below the skin layer allows all the butter flavor to permeate and absorbed into the meaty muscle layers of the turkey as the heat melts it; vastly distributing the flavor inside of the turkey as opposed to just having the butter slide off onto the juices at the bottom of the pan

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