The BIG TURKEY Day!
Good morning everyone! Happy Monday! Guess what? This week is all about Thanksgiving! My favorite time of the year and absolute favorite holiday! I can’t wait to reveal to you guys how I am preparing the turkey this year. I am taking what I learned in culinary school combining my experiences at Bouchon to showcase how I prepare for my turkey this year. I am starting early this year, yes on a Monday before the big day. Usually I don’t start till Wednesday night and I thought I was preparing early. Wrong! From what I have learned and researched, preparing WAY in advance will be an advantage leading up to the big day! And of course if you have the free time that’s a win win right? In my case I am officially 35 weeks pregnant. Big and round and it’ll be my big hurrah feast I am prepping before baby Adamek arrives. There are so many things I want to make, but I was told that I can only do the turkey, but I added in two more dishes HAHA. Crème Brulee and Apple Crisp.
Brine: 1 ½ cup kosher salt ½ cup pepper corns 1 head of garlic, halved ½ medium size onion 1 orange, peeled (using the peels only) 1 lemon, halved 6 bay leaves 12 oz honey 1 tablespoon of ground cloves 1 tablespoon of ground ginger 1 large brining bag 1 1/2 gallons of water 1 12-13 pounds turkey
Butter Herb Compose: 1/2 stick of butter ¼ cup of good evoo 1 tablespoon of rosemary 1 tablespoon of thyme 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1. Fill a huge stock pot up with about 1 ½ gallons of water, add all the ingredients and let it come to a simmer. It doesn’t need to be boiled, once all the ingredients are incorporated and dissolved, turn off the heat.
2. Let the brine come to a complete cool down
3. Take the turkey out of the original package, rinse it off with water and put it into the brining bag. Add the brine to the bag, seal and refrigerate it for 12 hours.
4. After 12 hours, take the turkey out of the bag, rinse it in cold water, slightly pat it dry and put it back into the fridge, uncover for a day. That way the skin will dry up and will be crispy after we roast it.
5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
6. Before we put the turkey in the oven on the Big Turkey Day, we want to make a butter compose with some herbs so that 1) the turkey will be super flavorful 2) the turkey will be moist.
7. Make the butter herb compose by mixing in all the butter herb compose ingredients. I love rosemary and thyme at this time of the year.
8. Take the turkey out of the fridge; loosen the skin of the turkey and dab the butter compose all over, inside and outside of the turkey. Tuck the wings under and tie the legs together. At this point, the turkey is ready for the oven. I am leaving my turkey un-stuffed this year.
9. At 425 degrees, roast the turkey for 30 minutes, then drop it down to 325 and roast 15 minutes for every pound. In my case I will be roasting it for 3 hours and 15 minutes because I have a 13 pound turkey. But I do recommend to check the turkey at 2 ½ hours to make sure the temperature is on point and that it’s not overcooked.
10. When it’s time, take the turkey out, cover it loosely with foil, let it rest for a good 15-20 minutes. This will continue to cook the turkey and to keep it warm.
11. Time to serve it. Cut out the breast, one at a time. Plate it with the thighs and wings. Ready to serve! The turkey was indeed super moist and very flavorful from the brine and butter herb compose.
I hope everyone enjoyed bringing and roasting the turkey for Thanksgiving this year! Happy Thanksgiving to all! :)