Thanksgiving Turkey

A Thanksgiving table looks complete when there is this giant bird on the table. Even though it is a bit of a struggle to serve everyone a portion of their favorite cut of meat at the table, it still looks beautiful and festive serving it whole rather than in pieces. (In my family thanksgiving, 1 turkey is not enough so we have pieces too)

For about 10 years now i was the responsible one for the turkey in my family gatherings, within those years i have learned a thing or two on how to make it juicy, fall off the bone and full of flavor. I have tried many different recipes and even brined my turkey in buttermilk one year, yes i bought gallons of buttermilk.. it was nerve wrecking waiting to dig into it not knowing what to expect, sure enough it didn’t disappoint but i think it was more challenging so I’ve stuck to this particular recipe because it quickly became a family favorite and was easier to handle.

First things first, plan ahead! The way to a great turkey starts days before thanksgiving, not the night before. Yes, you need to brine the turkey, brining helps to lock in the moisture while penetrating the meat with lots of flavor. This particular recipe needs to be started 3 days before you cook it.

Tips to a better Turkey:

1. Do Not Skip The Brine!!

2. Add a rub after the brine.

3. Use a thermometer

4. Go low & slow

Brine Ingredients:

(This brine is good for a 15-18lb turkey)

1.5g. water

5TB Salt

1/4cup Pickling Spice

1/4cup Vegeta (all purpose seasoning)

2TB Chicken Bouillon

5-6 bay Leaves

1 head of garlic (diced or sliced)

Instructions:

1. Add all of the ingredients to a large pot or container (such as a cooler or brine bag) stir, stir, stir very well so that the salt dissolves.

2. Wash the turkey very well making sure no feathers are left on the skin and add the turkey to the brine. Leave it in the brine for at least 2-3 days in the refrigerator or in a cooler outside just make sure there is enough ice to keep the temperature below 40F.Use a plate to way down the turkey if it is not fully  submerged.

3. The day before you need to cook it, take it out of the brine and transfer to a roasting pan or an oven bag (recommended).

4. Make the Rub: Use one of the two rubs to rub all over the turkey, inside and under the skin. (Use a spoon to help separate the skin from the meat)

Rub#1:

5-6Tbsp Mayonnaise

2-3 garlic cloves (pressed)

1.5Tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning

Juice of half a lemon (drizzled on top)

Rub #2:

1-2 sticks of softened Butter

2-3 garlic cloves (pressed)

1.5Tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning

Juice of half a lemon (drizzled on top)

 

5. If you are keeping the neck, gizzard/heart, put those pieces inside the cavity, cut 2 green apples into wedges and stuff inside together with few stems of fresh thyme (optional)

6. Tie the legs with kitchen twine If you are not using an oven bag, add 2-3 ladles of the brine to the bottom of the pan, cover with parchment paper and follow with foil on top. (the brine will steam underneath making the turkey stay moist)

7. Refrigerate another night or let the turkey sit out for a few hours on the counter prior to baking depending on when you need the turkey.

8. Bake at 350F for about 2 hours then bring the temperature down to 250F and bake another 2-3 hours or until the internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 160F.

Dress the turkey platter with fruits and greens, they sure help the bird stand out even more on the table.

Enjoy!

5 from 3 votes
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Thanksgiving Turkey

A 2-3 day salt bath for the bird followed by a generous rub inside and out, then cooked to perfection and dressed on the plate to catch the eye then satisfy the mouth.. oh yes!!

Ingredients

Brine:

  • 1.5 Gallon water
  • 5 Tbsp Salt
  • ¼ cup Pickling Spice
  • ¼ cup Vegeta (all purpose seasoning)
  • 2 Tbsp Chicken bouillon
  • 5-6 Bay leaves
  • 1 head Garlic (diced or sliced)

Rub#1

  • 5-6 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (pressed)
  • 1.5 Tbsp Montreal steak seasoning
  • juice of half a lemon

Rub#2

  • 1-1½ Sticks Softened Butter
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (pressed)
  • 1.5 Tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Juice of half a lemon

Instructions

  1. Instructions:

    1. Add all of the ingredients to a large pot or container (such as a cooler or brine bag) stir, stir, stir very well so that the salt dissolves.

    2. Wash the turkey very well making sure no feathers are left on the skin and add the turkey to the brine. Leave it in the brine for at least 2-3 days in the refrigerator or in a cooler outside just make sure there is enough ice to keep the temperature below 40°F. (Use a plate to way down the turkey if it is not fully submerged.)

    3. Once the turkey has been in the brine for at least 48hours, take it out of the brine and transfer to a roasting pan or an oven bag (recommended).

    4. Make the Rub: Use one of the two rubs to rub all over the turkey, inside and under the skin. (Use a spoon to help separate the skin from the meat)

    5. If you are keeping the neck, gizzard/heart, put those pieces inside the cavity, cut 2 green apples into wedges and stuff inside together with few stems of fresh thyme (optional)

    6. Tie the legs with kitchen twine add at least 1 cup of the brine inside the oven bag. If you are not using an oven bag, add 3-4 cups of the brine to the bottom of the pan, cover with parchment paper and follow with foil on top. (the brine will steam underneath making the turkey stay moist then you can also use it to make gravy)

    7. Refrigerate another night or let the turkey sit out for a few hours on the counter prior to baking depending on when you need the turkey.

    8. Bake at 350°F for about 2 hours then bring the temperature down to 250°F and bake another 2-3 hours or until the internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 160°F.

    Dress the turkey platter with any fruits or greens, they sure help the bird stand out even more on the table.

    Enjoy!

If you make this recipe id love to see it. Tag @alenashomecooking on instagram and hashtag it #alenashomecooking or by clicking the social icons on top of this page.

Also, leave a comment, and tell me your thoughts.

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