The 2018 Turkey
Remember that one time I said I made the perfect turkey (here) Well my friends I was so fricken wrong.
Holy Turkey legs Batman I no joke S H U T I T D O W N this Thanksgiving. Like SHUT IT DOWN… This was my first year heading to a farm instead of a freezer section, don’t judge me. This was my first year doing a 24 hour brine, your girl used a plastic drink bucket (in the garage fridge that I panic purchased on Amazon the day before) I made all 22 pounds of this beast of a bird and it was SO SO SO SO SO good.
Here’s all the where’s and who’s:
As mentioned above the farm and the brine :-*
- Turkey: I preordered the turkey from Goffle Road Poultry Farms, a local-ish place to me that came HIGHLY recommended. I called in early November and picked the poundage of my bird and pick up date. When I showed up the store was legit bananas like…bananas HOWEVER it was a well oiled machine even thought I was one on roughly 60 people in a TEENY space I was checked in and paid within 15 minutes. Easiest exchange ever and now I know why it’s highly recommended. (click here for website)
- The Brine: Don’t judge but after making two pies, three sides, cleaning, and raising a toddler monster I decided that I wasn’t putting my own brine together…so sue me. I throw all of my trust behind the wonderful people at crate and barrel, probably because I own 90% of their shit. REGARDLESS the brine was $14 or something close to that and came with a bag large enough for a 25 pound turkey. (while getting the link for you guys I noticed it was on sale and bought another for next year because I’m cheap) I highly recommend it! You’d be surprised what a difference a 24 brine makes. (click here)
Now onto the big show
What you need:
- 1(20 -25 lb) fresh whole turkey, giblets and neck removed from cavity
- 1 1⁄2cups unsalted butter, melted, plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1(750 ml) bottle dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon/onion/celery
- cup dry red wine(optional) or 1 cup white wine, for gravy (optional)
What you do:
This is more than usual but worth it so hang in there!
- Rinse turkey with cool water, and dry with paper towels. Let stand for hours at room temperature. SERIOUSLY LEAVE IT THE F ALONE FOR A WHILE
- Place rack on lowest level in oven. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine melted butter and white wine in a bowl. Fold a large piece of cheesecloth into quarters and cut it into a 17-inch, four-layer square. Immerse cheesecloth in the butter and wine; let soak.
- Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a heavy metal roasting pan. If the turkey comes with a pop-up timer, remove it; an instant-read thermometer is a much more accurate indication of doneness. Fold wing tips under turkey. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey. Fill large cavity and neck cavity loosely with the halved lemon/ 3 stalks of halved celery/ quartered onion; do not pack tightly. Tie legs together loosely with kitchen string (a bow will be easy to untie later). Fold neck flap under, and secure with toothpicks. Rub turkey with the softened butter, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper.
- Lift cheesecloth out of liquid, and squeeze it slightly, leaving it very damp. Spread it evenly over the breast and about halfway down the sides of the turkey; it can cover some of the leg area. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Cook for 30 minutes. Using a pastry brush, baste cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with butter and wine. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. and continue to cook for 2 1/2 more hours, basting every 30 minutes and watching pan juices; if the pan gets too full, spoon out juices, reserving them for gravy.
- After this third hour of cooking, carefully remove and discard cheesecloth. Turn roasting pan so that the breast is facing the back of the oven. Baste turkey with pan juices. If there are not enough juices, continue to use butter and wine. The skin gets fragile as it browns, so baste carefully. Cook 1 more hour, basting after 30 minutes.
- After this fourth hour of cooking, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Do not poke into a bone. The temperature should reach 180 degrees. The turkey should be golden brown. The breast does not need to be checked for temperature. If legs are not yet fully cooked, baste turkey, return to oven, and cook another 20 to 30 minutes.
- When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter, and let rest for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Pour all the pan juices into a glass measuring cup. Let stand until grease rises to the surface, about 10 minutes, then skim it off. Meanwhile, place roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup dry red or white wine, or water, to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the pan until liquid boils and all the crisp bits are unstuck from pan. Stir well, and bring back to a boil. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the defatted pan juices, and cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes more. You will have about 2 1/2 cups of gravy. Season to taste, strain into a warm gravy boat, and serve with turkey.