For Thanksgiving this year, I tried out a brined, slow-roasted turkey. Everyone agreed it was amazing.
Although Thanksgiving is now over, there’s still Christmas coming. And perhaps you want to make a turkey for it. Or perhaps you just want to make a turkey because turkey is awesome. Or, you know, there’s always next year.
Try this. It is soooooooo good.
- 1 15 – 20 lb. turkey
- 1 – 2 gallons of filtered water (can sub some chicken stock)
- 1 c. sea salt
- 1/3 c. sucanat
- 2 – 3 bay leaves
- 2 tsp. sage leaves
- 1 tsp. marjoram leaves
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. black peppercorns (or 2 tsp. ground pepper)
- Sea salt
Use 1 – 2 quarts of water or stock and bring it a boil. I didn’t have any stock on hand, so I went with water. It was plenty flavorful.
Add your sea salt and sucanat.
Stir to combine thoroughly.
Add your spices (through black pepper).
Pour your brine into a big pot.
Add your turkey to the pot. Yes, mine was a little bigger than it should have been for this pot, but I didn’t have anything else. Mine is almost 20 lbs. I put mine breast-side down so the normally drier white meat would get thoroughly brined.
Add extra water to your pot until it is nearly full. Ideally the turkey will be completely submerged…or at least mostly, as in my case.
If yours is completely submerged, you can add a lot of ice to it and let it sit out overnight, about 12 hours. The salt and the cold water will keep the turkey fresh and bacteria at bay. I put mine in the fridge instead for about 2 days.
Remove your turkey from the pot after it has been sitting in the brine at least 12 hours. I scrubbed my sink with soap just before I dumped it in.
Let your turkey sit in the sink for 1 – 2 hours (or on a rack nearby, with towels underneath) to drain. It needs to be fairly dry.
Stuff your turkey if you are planning to. I did. Then put it in a big roasting pan, or into a stand-alone roaster. I used my roaster so that I could keep my oven free for other baking. Dot it with butter and sprinkle with sea salt.
Turn the oven or roaster to 200 and let your turkey go 15 – 18 hours. You will want to start this the night before you plan to eat.
(Naturally I forgot to take any pictures of this last part. Sigh.)
Let it go and resist wanting to check it too often. I got impatient towards the end and turned mine up to 350 in the last hour or so of roasting so it would be done faster and also brown a bit more. Even though it didn’t look very brown on top at the end (see the top picture) it was definitely done! Plus deliciously moist.
Carve the turkey, and save the drippings. I got nearly 8 cups from my 20-lb. turkey, and I made all of it into gravy for future meals. The gravy is so delicious.
Then serve! And enjoy. Several people mentioned how good the turkey was multiple times. And it was. Even the leftovers were awesome and not the slightest bit dry.