Best Ever Thanksgiving Turkey

Here’s a picture of the turkey we dry-brined according to the following recipe (ignore the delicious pork roast in the background). It was AWESOME.

1. Wash the turkey inside and out and pat it dry.

2. Sprinkle the inside of the turkey lightly with salt. Place the turkey on its back and salt the breasts, concentrating the salt in the center, where the meat is thickest. Sprinkle liberally, about 6 TB for the whole bird, so about 3 TB here.

3. Turn the turkey on one side and sprinkle the entire side with salt, concentrating on the thigh (about 1 TB). Flip the turkey over and do the same with the opposite side.

4. Place the turkey in a 2½-gallon sealable plastic bag, press out the air and seal tightly. Place the turkey breast-side up in the refrigerator. Chill for 1-2 days, turning halfway through.

5. Remove the turkey from the bag on Thanksgiving morning. Rinse off any visible salt and pat dry. Refrigerate uncovered until one hour before roasting. Then remove and rub with butter (and fresh rosemary if you like). Preheat oven to 425 F.

6. Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Roast at 425 F for 25 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 F and roast until all meat registers 165 F, just under 3 total hours for a 12 pound bird, about 4 hours for a 16 pound bird or 2.5 for a ten pound bird. This does not take into account suffing! I’ve always found that there’s a fair amount of variation in turkey times, which is why step 7 is so great (a little wiggle room):

7. Rest the Turkey!  Cover in foil and let sit for 15-25 minutes. This will help overall juiciness and makes everything better.

Here’s me slicing the turkey – it was beautiful, crispy and brown on the outside and even the breast meat was still juicy the next day, cold, straight from the refrigerator. Also, I just noticed that my mother seems to be wearing my father’s sneakers in the background.


One Response to Best Ever Thanksgiving Turkey

  1. Roberta says:

    It looks fantastic! So, we’re going to do this, right? I think I even have some giant sealable bags–I’ll have to look. Rachel wants us to roast the bird at our house and bring it to the loft–that will be the resting part. I recognized Elise’s arm but didn’t recognize your mom–must have been the sneakers that through me off.