CHOOSING THE RIGHT SIZE THANKSGIVING TURKEY
A good rule of thumb is to estimate at least 1 lb to 1 1/2 lbs per person so you’ll have extra and enough for leftovers.
FRESH OR FROZEN?
Fresh – One of the pros of using a fresh bird is there’s no need to thaw. A fresh bird will keep for 4 days in the fridge. Some people think it’s more flavorful than a frozen bird.
Frozen – Typically more affordable and can be purchased weeks in advance. It does however require thawing time.
DEFROSTING A TURKEY
Fridge – if you have more time, allow the turkey to thaw in the fridge in it’s original packaging. Allow 24 hours of thawing for every 5 lbs of bird.
Cold Water Bath – If you’re short on time, submerge the bird in a cold water bath changing the water every 30 minutes. Allow 30 minutes of thawing time per pound of bird.
WHAT IS A DRY BRINE?
A dry brine is an herb and salt rub applied directly to the turkey. This creates satiny leg meat and juicy, perfectly seasoned breast meat. Air-drying the turkey on the last day of the 4-day process will make the skin crisp when roasted.
HOW MUCH SALT SHOULD I USE?
This recipe can be adapted to turkeys of all sizes. Use 1 tablespoon of salt for every 4 pounds. Diamond Crystal salt is best, Morton’s has more sodium and will be saltier. If using Morton’s, you will have to adjust and use less.
Leftovers should be put away when you’re done serving. Store leftover meat and the turkey carcass for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
HERB AND SALT-RUB DRY BRINE TURKEY
This Herb and Salt-Rubbed Dry Brined Turkey comes out so moist and flavorful, with crispy golden skin and juicy tender meat.
2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
One thawed or fresh 16-lb turkey, preferably fresh (not kosher or self-basting) if frozen, thaw before
1/4 cup Diamond Crystal, use less with Mortons
4-Day Dry Brine:
(4) Four days before you plan to roast the turkey, mix the herbs and oil in a small bowl. Loosen the skin around the shoulders of the bird and around the cavity. Carefully slide your hands underneath the skin to loosen it from the breast, thighs, and drumsticks.
Rub the herb mixture on the meat, under the skin. Pat the skin back into place. Rub the salt inside the cavity and on the skin. Tuck the wing tips behind the neck and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Put the turkey in a large food-safe plastic bag (such as a turkey-size roasting bag) and tie. Put the bag inside a second bag and tie. Day 1 to 3: Refrigerate the turkey, turning it over every day, for 3 days.
Day 4: Remove the turkey from the bags and pat dry. Transfer to a large roasting pan and refrigerate, unwrapped, to let the turkey air-dry overnight (for the fourth day).
Roast the turkey (Day 5):
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let it temper on the counter for about 3 hours. Place turkey breast side up on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2½ inches deep.
Convection Roast Mode:
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F in convection roast setting. If using a probe, insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh not touching the bone and set the temp to 170F. Roast until the temp registers 170°F in the thickest part of a thigh, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or longer depending on the size of the turkey. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving to allow the juices to settle.
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F. Roast the turkey for 1 hour, then reduce the heat to 325°F.
Continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F in the thickest part of a thigh, about 1 3/4 to 2 hours. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving to allow the juices to settle.
Recipe and photo courtesy of: SkinnyTaste