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Jim Coleman Recipes

Best Brined Turkey (Adapted from The Cook's Illustrated Complete Book of Poultry)

For this recipe you will need:

2 cups Kosher salt
1 12-14 pound turkey, rinsed and with giblets and neck removed
3 medium onions
1 1/2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
6 fresh thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Dissolve the salt in 2 gallons of cold water in a large stockpot. Add the turkey and refrigerate for 12 hours.

To roast the turkey, adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 400*. Remove the turkey from the salt water and rinse inside and out under cool running water for several minutes, until all traces of salt are gone. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Toss 1/3 of the onions, carrots, celery and thyme with 1 tablespoon of the butter and place this mixture inside the body cavity. Truss the turkey legs.

Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme over a shallow roasting pan. Pour 1 cup of water over the vegetables. Set an oiled V-shaped rack in the pan. Brush the entire breast side of the turkey with half of the remaining butter, then place the turkey, breast-side down, on the rack. Brush the entire back side of the turkey with the remaining butter.

Roast the turkey for 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and baste. Rotate the turkey a quarter turn so that one leg side is facing up. Add a little more water if the liquid in the pan has totally evaporated. Return the turkey to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove the turkey again, baste, and rotate the bird until the other leg is facing up. Roast for another 15 minutes. Take the bird out once more, baste, and turn it breast-side up. Roast until the thigh registers 170 to 175* on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 45 minutes. Transfer the turkey to a platter and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the defatted residue in the pan to your favorite giblet gravy recipe.

©2005 WHYY