I’ve started making Alton Brown’s turkey for the last few years. It all started with my husbands step mom, Rose. She decided to give this recipe a go for Thanksgiving one year not all that long ago. I loved this recipe so much that I started making it myself. I’ve made it every year since then. Christmas is literally around the corner and I sit here with this recipe and think about all of our wonderful family memories. I’ve had people come into my life that have really made me shine. Maybe more than I deserve to….but they sure brought out the good in me.
I mentioned before about my new niece. I’ve not gotten to meet her yet, because she needs to be protected from the outside right now. She really would be in trouble if she got sick right now. I really know how my sister in law feels. B is a little more sick than Cooper was at birth. I was pretty lucky, considering. I wish it were different, because I’m dying to get my hands on that sweet girl….but in time, I’ll get some baby love…patience is a virtue.
14-16 # Turkey
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4-32 oz containers of vegetable stock (I’ve used broth too)
1 tablespoon black peppercorn
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons candied ginger, chopped
1 gallon of heavily iced water
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 rosemary sprigs
6 sage leaves
2 to 3 days before roasting: Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
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 solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.
Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:
Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
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.
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.