Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey, pt. 2 - Roast Turkey

Now to roasting the turkey!  There are lots of different methods out there.  Low and slow, basting every 1/2 hour, etc, etc, but this is the one I tried and loved and this is what I'm using this year.  I love that it starts at such a high heat to get the beautiful brown color, then the heat is lowered to finish roasting.

Something very important to invest in is a thermometer.  Turkeys often come with a pop-up timer, but that's not very accurate.  You can pull it out or just leave it in and ignore it (as seen above).  A thermometer will tell you more accurately when your bird is done and safe to eat!

I adjusted the aromatics to what I like to do; click on Alton's recipe if you want to use his. :)

This recipe also assumes you have already brined your turkey.  It also calls for aromatics inside the cavity.  If you plan on stuffing the turkey, this may not be best recipe.  Roasting times will vary greatly and I don't have any tips for you. :)  I seem to always host Thanksgiving when I'm pregnant, so no stuffing (inside the bird) for us!

Roast Turkey

1 14-16 lb. brined and rinsed turkey
1 apple, quartered
1 onion, quartered
1 lemon, halved
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
canola oil
aluminum foil

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Pat turkey down with clean paper towels until it is dry.  Place on a roasting rack inside a half sheet pan or roasting pan.  Fill cavity with apple, onion, lemon and rosemary sprigs.

Take a large sheet of aluminum foil and fold into a triangle.  (Alton calls this the "turkey triangle".  We don't use it quite yet, but you want to fit it to your bird while it's not screaming hot; it ensures that the bird doesn't get too brown).  Rub a little canola oil on the foil, then place it over the turkey, oil side down, to cover the breasts.  The point should go right between the legs.  Mold it around the turkey, then lift it up from the top and set it aside (oil side up), until ready to use.

Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.  (No need to salt the turkey since you brined it!)

Roast the turkey on the lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove turkey, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, place your "turkey triangle" (foil) on top of the breast so it doesn't get too brown, and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F (thigh should register at 180 degrees).  A 14-16 lb. bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours roasting time.

Remove turkey from the oven and let rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl, for 15 minutes before carving.

You can easily use this method for a larger bird, you'll just have to adjust the baking time.  This is where a thermometer comes in handy!

Source: Adapted from Good Eats, Alton Brown (link includes a couple helpful videos)

1 comment:

Rob and Amy Weaver Clan said...

Awe yum! I am so sad I am not cooking this year! Enjoy Thanksgiving with Heidi!!