Not everyone loves Turkey, but we only get to make it ONCE a year! This year make your turkey juicy and flavorful by brining it first and roasting it with lots of delicious compound butter.
Brining not only infuses lots of flavor into the turkey, but it also helps it to stay moist during the long cooking process. The legs and thighs may cook long after the breast and it may end up super dry without brining first.
Using butter not only helps to flavor but to also give the turkey great color! Start with unsalted butter so you don’t run the risk of getting an overly salty bird.
Herbs for compound butter:
You can use any herbs you want but I used thyme, rosemary and sage on my bird. They worked really well together and gave the turkey a great flavor.
Starting high, ending low:
Start by cooking the turkey in a very HOT oven and then drop the temperature after about 30 minutes.
Don’t use the turkey breast pop-up as a timer:
By the time the turkey breast pop up thermometer actually pops up, your turkey breast is probably overdone. Rely on a good kitchen thermometer to get an internal temperature that registers 165 degrees in the breast and 175 degrees in the thighs.
- 2 green apples, rough chopped
- 2 oranges, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 4 rosemary sprigs
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 3 tbsp pickling spice
- 6 cups water
- AROMATICS: Roasting Pan Ingredients
- 1 leek, sliced and cleaned
- 2 medium carrots, rough chop
- 1 medium onion, cut in wedges
- 5 stems sage
- 5 rosemary sprigs
- ½ garlic knob, sliced through the center
- 2 cups chicken stock
- HERB BUTTER Ingredients:
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp chicken seasoning
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp thyme leaves, stripped from the stems
- 2 tbsp sage leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp rosemary leaves, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- INSIDE OF TURKEY:
- 1 bouquet garni of thyme, sage and rosemary wrapped or tied together.
- ½ an orange
- ½ garlic knob
- Boil all the ingredients on medium heat in a medium saucepan, dissolving the sugar and salt until the fruit begins to break down.
- Allow the brine to cool completely.
- While the brine cools, rinse the turkey inside and out with cold running water, saving the giblets and neck. Remove any extra feathers, fat, or skin specifically around the neck area of the bird.
- Place a brining bag over a large enough container. Pour in cooled brine and a gallon and a half of water. Add about 2-3 cups of ice to get the brine cold.
- Place the turkey in the brine and tie the bag. Refrigerate overnight.
- Prep the roasting pan by placing all the chopped aromatics in the pan along with the chicken stock. Place the rack in the pan on top of the aromatics.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix all the herb butter ingredients together with a spoon or a spatula.
- Season the back side of the turkey and sit the turkey breast-side up on the roasting pan. Use your hands to separate the skin of the turkey from the breast meat. Place herb butter under the turkey skin and gently press down on the skin to evenly distribute it.
- Season the outside and the cavity of the turkey with the remaining butter. Place the orange, bouquet garni and garlic knob in the cavity of the bird. Tuck the wings behind the breast and the
- Roast the turkey for 30 minutes at 425 degrees under loosely tented foil. Reduce the heat to 350 after 30 minutes and roast until a thermometer inserted into the breast of the turkey registers 165 degrees and 175 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. Remove the foil after about 1 hour of cooking time and baste the turkey every 30- 45 minutes until cooked.
- Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving. Plate with herbs, orange slices and cranberries.