Thanksgiving turkey


The brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 orange, cut into 8 wedges
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 gallons water

For roasting:
Room temperature butter, for brushing
Salt and pepper
Carrots, onions and celery, chopped, for roasting the turkey
Turkey or chicken stock

Mix all ingredients, place in 2 gallons of water and mix until dissolved.

Add the turkey to the brine. Make sure it’s totally submerged. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Before removing the turkey from brine, adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your roasting pan by placing a layer of chopped carrots, onions and celery in the bottom of the pan.

Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well under cool running water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Tuck tips of drumsticks into skin at tail to secure, and tuck wing tips behind back. Allow the turkey to come to room temperature. Brush turkey all over with butter. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place in the roasting pan and pour a little stock all the way around the turkey to cover the vegetables about ¾ of the way up.

Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and roast until thickest part of breast registers 155 degrees and thickest part of thigh registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer. Transfer turkey to carving board; let rest 30-40 minutes, carve, place in gravy and keep warm at 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Weight of bird Roasting time (unstuffed)
10 to 18 pounds 3 to 3 1/2 hours
18 to 22 pounds 3 1/2 to 4 hours
22 to 24 pounds 4 to 4 1/2 hours


Turkey stock:
2 turkey necks
2-4 turkey wings
1 yellow onion
2 medium carrots
2 stalks Celery
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns
chicken stock, to cover (cold)

Roast the bones on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and dry.

In a large sauce pan, sauté the onion, carrots and celery in 2 teaspoons oil over medium-low heat until softened but not browned. Add white wine, bay leaf and peppercorns; reduce until the pan is almost dry. Add the roasted bones and add cold chicken stock to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer, and reduce by half, removing the fat and impurities as the stock cooks. Once reduced, strain. Once the stock cools, scrap the fat off the top, if necessary.