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Herb Roasted Brined Turkey

Brining a turkey is a really different way of preparing your bird where the juices are locked right in.  I’ve made several versions of this brine for turkey and goose and it’s so juicy and tender.  Please don’t soak the turkey longer than 6 hours.  You can soak it the day before roasting  or you can just follow recipe below without the brine.  Just remember to salt the bird , if not brining.        

  • One 12-pound young turkey  (about 5.5 kg)
  • 2 tbsp. butter (30 ml)
  • sprigs of sage, whole and chopped
  • sprigs of rosemary, whole and chopped
  •  freshly cracked black pepper ( note if not brining turkey, salt before roasting)
  • Sprigs of herbs, for garnish, optional

Turkey Brine

  • 12 cups water ( 3 L)
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt (125 ml)
  • ½ cup sugar (125 ml)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Several leaves fresh sage  

Remove giblets and turkey neck from turkey cavity and reserve for when roasting.
Combine all ingredients for brine in a large bucket or tub that can completely immerse turkey in liquid. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Remove turkey from brine , pat dry and follow directions below.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

For additional flavour to pan drippings roast turkey neck in roasting pan with turkey. 

Rub bird with butter and season with freshly cracked  pepper and sprinkle with chopped fresh sage and rosemary. Truss legs together with butcher’s twine to maintain shape while roasting.

Roast bird, breast side up, in a large roasting pan on the lower portion of oven at 325 degrees F. , basting often, until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 175 degrees F., about  2 to 2 ½ hours.  Cover loosely with foil and keep warm and let rest 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Garnish platter with fresh sprigs of herbs if desired.

Serves 12

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

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