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Start your Turkeys NOW!

April 21, 2011
by Erin B

Since I wasn’t that organized for Easter this year, I just found out my parents are coming up from the south of the province for Easter dinner.   I wasn’t organized enough to get a nice ham from the local supplier and (after letting them spoil me) I can’t imagine paying more for a worse tasting store brand one.

I flat out admidt this post is total plagiarism from Alton Brown.  If they send me a take down notice, I will.   There isn’t really anything I could do to make this any better.  Really.   BEST.  TURKEY.  EVER.  Try it.  You will never go back.

The original recipe says to start brining the night before.  I always buy a fresh turkey from Costco, and I figure that if I’m going to have turkey sitting in my fridge, it might as well be marinading in flavour.

15 lb turkey, fresh or thawed
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
8 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 ½ teaspoons whole allspice
2 teaspoons candied ginger, chopped
1 apple, sliced
½ onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
½ cup canola oil
sprinkle paprika

1. Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve sugar and salt.   Bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate, in large bucket with turkey, breast side down

WARNING:  This is a two stage roasting recipe.  If your mom, like my mom, always put the turkey in as soon as you got home from mass, this may seem like you are waiting too long to start.  Trust the recipe.  The first time I tried this we ended up with the bird done at 4pm because I couldn’t imagine not starting supper until 2:30.  So I started cooking at 1pm and the bird was done before I had even started anything else.

2. 3 1/2 hours before you are ready to eat:  Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F, allow at least 30 minute to come up to temperature. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

3. Place the bird on roasting rack inside a roaster and pat dry with towel. (Original recipe says half sheet, but it is too juicy and will overflow and start an oven fire)

4. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil. Sprinkle with paprika

5. Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

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