A simple, perfect roasted turkey just like grandma used to make. A basic brine makes this Best Juicy Roasted Turkey more flavorful and also adds moisture. The brine is a simple combination of ingredients that you probably have on hand. Seasoned with salt and pepper, and coated with melted butter, the flavors of the turkey really stand out. Stuff with your favorite dressing.
Although roasting a turkey may seem difficult, it doesn’t really have to be that way. It’s possible to obtain a juicy turkey by soaking it in brine for 10 to 12 hours. All you need is a large container and some refrigerator space. To make the skin crisp and golden, simply make sure to pat the turkey dry completely after removing it from the brine, leave it in the refrigerator uncovered overnight and add melted butter before roasting it. It’s that easy!
Ingredients for the brine:
8 cups chicken broth
16 cups cold water
¾ cup salt
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons peppercorns
4 bay leaves
Ingredients for the turkey:
1 turkey, up to 15 pounds
6 carrots, chopped into large pieces
6 celery stalks, chopped into large pieces
2 onions, chopped into large pieces
1 head garlic
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Salt and pepper to taste
In the Coffee Press/Chocolatera, mix 4 cups chicken broth, salt, sugar, pepper, thyme and bay leaves; cook until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from the heat and mix with the rest of the liquid to temper the brine.
Place the turkey in the brine, making sure it is submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 hours, but no longer than 12.
Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse thoroughly under cool running water and pat dry. Place the turkey in a shallow pan and chill it again uncovered, for at least 8 hours. This will help the skin of the turkey to brown and crisp while roasting. Yummmm…
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator two hours before roasting. In the Contessa, add half of the vegetables and a few sprigs of thyme. Place the rack in the Contessa and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the turkey on a cutting board or on other flat surface and season with salt and pepper without forgetting the cavities. With a kitchen brush, spread the melted butter over the whole turkey and place the remaining vegetables, apple and herbs in its cavity. Place the turkey on the rack and roast for 2 ½ to 3 hours, checking every hour to make sure it doesn’t brown too quickly. The turkey will be ready when the temperature in the breast reaches 165°F (74°C) and thighs reach 175°F (80°C)**
Remove the turkey from the oven and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes; this will help the juices redistribute inside the turkey and not be lost when cutting it. If you want, you can make a gravy in the same Contessa with the turkey juices or you can serve it by itself. Happy Holidays!
** To get a juicier turkey, start by baking it with the breast side down and flip it over after an hour in the oven; this way the breast will be cooked more evenly, along with the rest of the bird. If the breast is browning too much, tent it with aluminum foil to redirect the heat away from the skin.