There have been a few turkey recipes put up so far. This is mine. It's simple, delicious, and guaranteed to leave your family and friends begging for more.
HOLIDAY BRINED TURKEY
1 Turkey (rinsed; neck and organs removed)
2 Cups Kosher Salt
2 Cups Sugar
1 Gallon Water
1 Gallon Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
3 Bay Leaves
1/2 Cup Herb Mixture (equal parts Fresh Basil, Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg) 1 Tablespoon Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
Lemon or Orange Slices
A Bulb of Crushed Garlic Cloves
1 Whole Stick of Unsalted Butter (salted would probably be fine)
1 Brining Bag (2 large turkey roasting bags will work)
1 Cooler sized slightly larger than the turkey
1 Turkey Roasting Pan
Place a large stockpot on the stove over medium-high heat. Combine salt, sugar, water, bay leaves, herb mixture, black pepper, lemon/orange slices, and garlic in stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. DO NOT LET BOIL. Remove stockpot from heat and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
While the brine is cooling, spread a layer of ice into the bottom of the cooler. Place the turkey, breast-side down, inside the brining bag. Place brining bag and turkey inside cooler. Pour cooled brine over turkey. Add orange juice to the brining bag. Add a few handfuls of ice to the bag to help further cool the brine. Seal the bag, making sure to let out as much air as possible. Add additional ice to cooler (it needs to stay at 40°F for duration of brining). Brine for 1 hour per pound of turkey. Do not over brine, or turkey will be salty.
Preheat oven to 475°F. Remove turkey from brine and place in roasting pan. Pour brine down sink while straining off the herb/spice silt at the bottom of the bag. Melt stick of butter in microwave. Baste turkey skin with melted butter (this really helps with achieving the crispy brown effect). Spread strained herb/spice silt all over, and underneath, skin for extra flavor. Stuff turkey with lemon/orange slices.
Place turkey on roasting pan, breast-side up, in oven. Cook at 475°F for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 250°F and continue cooking for 20 minutes per pound. When done, internal temperature of turkey will be 165°F. Let turkey rest at least 15 minutes before carving.