Friday, November 29, 2013

3-Day Dry Brined Turkey with Herb Rub

I apologize!  I didn't take a pic of the turkey when it was done! 
I know.  Yesterday was Thanksgiving...
and now I'm posting my turkey recipe... today.  But I couldn't in good conscience post a recipe I hadn't tried and didn't absolutely love.

So, just in case you make turkey for Christmas or any other time of year, you have got to try this.  My hubby raved that this was the best turkey he had ever eaten. 

If you are making this turkey for Thanksgiving, it is important that you start this process with a fresh organic (or thawed) turkey the Monday prior.  It does take a little time, but not a lot of effort.  And the results are a moist, flavorful turkey.

And it was beautiful...  I just wish I'd remembered to take a picture for you!

Three-Day Dry Brined Turkey with Herb Rub

Herb rub:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 T fresh sage leaves
  • 2 t fresh rosemary leaves 
  1. Wash turkey and pat dry. 
  2.  Place herbs in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Add oil and pulse to combine. 
  3.  Rub herbs under the skin on the breast and thighs of turkey.

Dry Brine:
  • Approx. 1 T real salt per 5 lbs.
  1.  Rub salt all over turkey, concentrating salt on the thickest parts of the breast and thigh.  Don't forget to salt the cavity, too.
  2.  Tuck wings under neck and tie legs together. 
  3.  Place in large plastic bag. 
  4.  Remove as much air as possible and close bag. 
  5.  Place turkey in refrigerator on a rimmed cookie sheet for 3 days, taking out once a day to turn and rub lightly without taking out of the bag.
The night before:
  1. Take turkey out of brining bag and pat dry. 
  2.  Place on clean rimmed baking sheet. 
  3.  Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. 
Two hours before roasting: 
  1. Take turkey out of the refrigerator.  
  2. Rub inside of cavity with butter. 
  3.  Fill cavity with:
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 celery stalks, cleaned and cut in half 
  1.  Rub skin with butter. 
  2.  Place breast-side down in roasting pan. 
  1. Place turkey in 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. 
  2.  Meanwhile, make basting sauce, simmering for a few minutes to burn off alcohol and impart herb flavor:
  • 4 T melted butter
  • ½ C dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves 
  1.  After 30 minutes, take turkey out of oven.  Turn so it is breast side up.  Baste.  Place turkey back in oven. 
  2.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees. 
  3.  Baste every 30 minutes 
  4.  Roast until min. 180 degrees  internal temp at thigh. (15 lb. bird = approx. 3 hours at 325 degrees)
  5. Note:  If your turkey isn't done and the skin has already reached a beautiful, deep golden brown color, cover loosely with foil to keep skin from browning more.
  1. When turkey is done, take out of oven.  Transfer bird to rimmed baking sheet.  Cover with foil and allow to rest 30 minutes before carving.
  • 1 C dry white wine
  • Pan drippings
  • 4 C giblet or chicken stock
  • 3-4 T arrowroot mixed with 1/4 C water
  1. Deglaze pan with 1 C dry white wine.
  2. Pour wine/drippings into glass bowl or measuring cup.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Skim off excess fat. 
  3.  Heat pan drippings with giblet stock in saucepan until boiling.  
  4.  Mix in enough arrowroot mixture to thicken gravy.  Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.  
  5.  Turn down heat to low to keep warm.

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