Friday, December 3, 2010

Roast Turkey

I made a really great turkey this year.  I don't have a single photo to prove it, but I finally got the cooking process down to exactly how I want it.

I start by brining the turkey with a jar of Turkey Brine from Williams Sonoma.  I follow the directions on the label (using the apple cider variation). 

As far as roasting it after brining:

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together. Drizzle the turkey with olive oil and rub it into the skin.  Roast the turkey for 30 minutes at 500 then decrease oven temp to 325 degrees.  Continue to roast to at least 160 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast, about 3-3 1/2 hours for an 18 lb. turkey (the size I typically get). If the skin starts to get too dark during roasting, tent with foil.  I always wrap the wings in foil so they don't get too dark, then uncover them during the last 30 mins. to 1 hr. to let them brown along with the rest of the bird.  I no longer put the stuffing in the bird, but instead bake it in a separate pan.  Stick to the thermometer for checking if the turkey is done--it really helps keep you from overcooking the turkey!  After removing from the oven, allow the turkey to rest under a tent of foil or a large mixing bowl while you prepare your table/sides/etc (about an hour is fine).

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