My family had served deep fried turkey at Thanksgiving for several years until I made this. (You know, the method that causes so many house fires every year.) This recipe is just as good if not better than fried turkey (in my opinion), and you don’t even need a fire extinguisher. The brine makes it super juicy and tender, but the most important thing is to use a meat thermometer and keep an eye on it. The secret to a juicy, tender turkey is to not overcook it!!
- 1 large Turkey (about 15 pounds)
- 1 cup salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 gallon vegetable stock (2 boxes)
- 4 tbsp black pepper corns
- 4 stalks of celery
- 1 onion cut into wedges
- 2 lemons
- enough water to cover the bird
First, defrost your turkey by putting it in the fridge for a day or two. Then the night before you want the turkey to be ready, add all of the ingredients (except the turkey) to a large 5 gallon bucket, squeezing the juice from the lemons and adding the rinds as well. Add hot water from the tap until it reaches about half way up the bucket and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. When the mixture has cooled a little, add the turkey breast side down. If the liquid doesn’t cover the turkey, add warm water until it barely covers it. Put weight in the bucket (like a large can of tomatoes) to make sure turkey is submerged if necessary. After at least ten hours of brining, rinse the bird with water and discard the brine. Preheat the oven to 500F and roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350F and cook until the internal temperature of the turkey is 160F. A 15 pound turkey should take at least two hours, but check it periodically by sticking a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast.
Calories don’t count on Thanksgiving.