soaking the turkey in brine. I need 11/2 gallons of water to
cover the turkey in the bucket I use. A larger container may
require more water. Just remember the ratio –1 cup kosher
salt (and 2/3 cup sugar) per gallon of water –and increase
accordingly. Don’t worry if a but of turkey is not
submerged. Just place the turkey, breast down, in the water,
and let part of the back sit above the water, and let part of
the back sit above the water. Sugar is optional, but it helps
the bird brown beautifully.
turkey (11 –14 pounds), thawed if frozen, giblet bag,
neck and tail cut off and reserved
for gravy (see next page), excess fat around each cavity
removed and discarded.
onions, coarsely chopped
stalk, coarsely chopped
optional sugar and 11/2 gallons of cold water in a clean
bucket or stockpot large enough to hold the turkey. Add
turkey; refrigerate 12-15 hours. Remove turkey from brine,
rinse thoroughly under cool running water and pat dry.
Adjust over rack to lowest position and preheat oven to
400 degrees. Place half of chopped onion, carrot and celery in
the turkey cavity. Tie the legs together and secure wigs.
Scatter remaining onion, carrot and celery in a large roasting
pan. Pour 1 cup of water over the vegetables. Set V-rack in
pan. Place turkey, breast side down, on V-rack. Brush back and
sides with melted butter. Roast for 45 minutes.
Remove pan from oven. Close oven door. Baste the
turkey’s back with drippings from the caramelized roasted
vegetables, adding a little water to the pan if drippings need
loosening. With a wad of paper towels in each hand, turn the
turkey on its side so one leg and wing are up. Brush exposed
area of turkey with loosened pan drippings. Add1/2 cup water
to the pan. Return to oven and roast for 20 minutes.
Remove turkey from oven; close oven door. Use the wads
of paper towels to turn the turkey so the other leg/wing faces
up. Baste exposed areas with dripping. Add more water to the
pan, if necessary, to keep vegetables from burning. Roast 20
For the third time, remove turkey from oven; close
door. Turn turkey breast side up and baste with drippings;
roast 35-55 minutes longer, until a meat thermometer inserted
in the breast registers 160-165 degrees and the leg/thigh
registers about 170 degrees. Keep checking the pan, making
sure the vegetables maintain a rich caramel color; add water
if they start to burn.
Transfer turkey to a platter and let rest, uncovered,
30 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, pour excess fat from
pan; discard fat and reserve drippings for gravy
11-to14-pound turkey should serve 10-12 people, with some
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