Sunset; James Carrier; Ojai Roast Turkey with Rosemary, Lemon, and Garlic
I know that many women are intimidated by roasting the holiday bird so I thought I would give my never fail method of cooking the best turkey you've ever had. Also my turkey is, if I do say so myself, famous. This is because I do two things that make it moist, flavorful, and falling off the bone (no joke) delicious.
First I brine my turkey - submerge in a herb, salt, sugar bath- for at least two days
Second I roast it in a Reynold's Turkey Bag
Those two steps ensure a moist tender bird! If you want to have the best turkey ever this year think about brining it and using the turkey bag. The bag requires no basting, you just throw it in there and let it go, and the brine will give your bird a ticket to flavor town.
Here's my method
2/3 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup sugar
5 fresh sage leaves or 1 T dried
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 T dried
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns crushed
1 plastic oven bags turkey sized
1 big roasting pan
1 big stock pot
Possible additions: Fruit juice such as cider or apple juice in place of two cups of the water
Put all ingredients in a 3 - 4 quart sauce pan. Add 8 cups water or 6 cups water and two cups fruit juice. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Boil three min. then remove from heat and add 4 cups cold water and stir. Let cool.
Place your thawed, rinsed, raw turkey into a really large non reactive stockpot that it will fit in. Pour cooled brine over the top and pour an additional two cups cold water on top of that. cover with its lid or tinfoil. Place turkey in the fridge or a really cold room that is secure from your dog getting at it. Allow to brine from 12 hours (for a smaller turkey) to 48 hours (for a 20 lb or bigger turkey)
When ready to roast remove from pot and rinse with cold running water on the inside and outside really well. Especially if you used the juice because the added sugar content can cause the skin to over brown if not rinsed off. Rub fresh herbs and olive oil over the skin but no more salt!
Place in turkey bag according to its directions. I don't stuff my bird so I place a quartered apple, onion, and some fresh thyme sprigs in the cavity. Seal and bake according to directions on the box.
When done slit open the turkey bag to keep it from sticking to the skin. It is normal to see the meat actually starting to fall off the bone a bit. Cover immediately with a tin foil tent and let rest 20 minutes. This allows the juices to distribute and makes for moister meat. Then carve, serve, and give thanks for the amazing turkey!