My Favorite Roast Turkey

35 cookbooks

If I were to one day write a holiday-inspired cook book, this is the Thanksgiving turkey recipe I’d share. The skin is crispy, the meat is juicy, and the subtle smells and flavor of the aromatics are just down right comforting.

Vodka & Biscuits

Serves 12

18 Ingredients

1 piece 14 lb Turkey

1 cup Kosher Salt

1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar

1 gal Chicken Stock

1 tbsp Black Peppercorns

1/2 tsp Ground Allspice

1 gal Ice Water

1 Red Apple

1/2 piece Onion

1 stick Cinnamon

1 cup Water

2 sprig Rosemary

6 piece Sage Leaves

to taste Olive Oil

6 tbsp Softened Butter

2 tbsp Parsley

1 Lemon

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

15 Steps

Steps 1

Begin thawing the turkey 2-3 days prior in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Steps 2

Combine the Chicken Stock, Kosher Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Black Peppercorns, and Ground Allspice in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, stirring often to dissolve the solids.

Steps 3

Remove from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate. This should take one hour to cool.

Steps 4

Combine the brine and Ice Water in a 5-gallon bucket. Place the 14 lb Turkey (innards removed) breast side down. If the turkey is not submerged you can weigh it down.

Steps 5

Refrigerate for 8-16 hours, turning the bird halfway once.

Steps 6

After brining, remove the turkey, discard the brine, and rinse inside & out with cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel and sit room temperature for 2 hours before roasting.

Steps 7

When ready to roast preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Steps 8

Prepare the aromatics. Combine the Red Apple, Onion, Cinnamon, and Water and microwave for 5 minutes. Remove the solids (discard the water) and combine with the Rosemary and Sage Leaves. Stuff inside the turkey cavity.

Steps 9

Prepare the butter. Mix together the Softened Butter, Parsley, Lemon, and Black Pepper until the herbs are evenly distributed. This can be done in a processor or stand mixer. A tablespoon at a time, rub the butter under the skin of the breast and thigh for 3 tablespoons. Reserve remaining butter for basting.

Steps 10

Tuck the wings under the bird, tie the legs with kitchen twine, and coat the skin liberally with Olive Oil.

Steps 11

Roast on lowest level of the oven for 30 minutes.

Steps 12

Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F, remove the turkey (or slide out the oven grate) to dollop the remaining butter over the skin. Cover loosely with a foil triangle if the skin is getting dark.

Steps 13

Continue to roast for 2 more hours, until a thermometer registers to 165 degrees in the inner-ward thigh or thickest part of the breast.

Steps 14

Allow to rest 15 minutes before carving.

Steps 15

Stuff the cavity with fresh herbs and orange slices for presentation.