Today I'm going to share my extra special turkey recipe with you. Roasting a tasty turkey is not that hard ... trust me, you are going to love mine. Its so juicy!!! Whats your preference, frozen or fresh turkey? Let me say why I asked.
The Foodies and Chefs say fresh turkeys are tastier, have a higher dark-meat to white-meat ratio, they are denser and more flavorful. They do cost more than their counter part. You have to order fresh turkey a week or so before and pick them up a day or two before Thanksgiving.
Frozen turkeys are cheaper but they tend to lose more moisture than fresh birds as they cook. This sometimes makes them dry out. Remember thawing a bird can take up to three days because for every 4 to 5 pounds you need 24 hours to defrost.
Of course, I have been told there are organic turkeys ... I don't know anything about them. I haven't tried one, or even seen one. So if you have do tell me about them.
I say buy a little bigger one than whats needed for your Thanksgiving get-together. Some to share with your guest as they leave, and some for yourself to eat again and again.
Turkey makes delicious leftovers; I think it tastes even better the following day.
Yes you should brine. Mine is a dry rubbing brine and its part of my turkey recipe below. It's a mix of salt, and spices - I am Jamaican we cook with lots of seasonings. The trick is letting the dry-brined turkey chill in the fridge, for at least twelve hours. While that is happening the brine works its way into the meat, keeping it juicy and flavorful.
Uncovered in the refrigerator the skin dry out which is the key to a crispy skin. Covering the turkey in the fridge is also okay the dry rub do create crispy skin.
I don't do stuffing; it makes cooking the meat longer.
They say tie the wings and legs up but I don't, I just tuck them in, so do what works for you.
Place turkey on the rack in the roasting pan with water. For me I put the neck of turkey and giblets in the bottom of the pan with the water to add even more flavor, which I use to baste the meat every half hour or so.
From the drippings into the water in the pan I make my gravy.
This turkey recipe gives a warm and spicy taste though not peppery. If you want to kick it up another notch add ground ginger, and a dash ground allspice.
Mix together paprika, thyme, sugar, salt, rosemary, sage and pepper for the dry brine under the breast skin, outside and inside turkey and refrigerate for two days or at least overnight.
Take out of refrigerator before cooking and let stand for at least 1 hour at room temperate.
Preheat oven to 375° and using a damp paper towel brush the dry brine off the turkey.
Rub butter all over. Place a portion of chopped garlic, onion, scallion within turkey cavity and the rest of seasoning along with celery, carrots, turkey neck and giblets in the water bottom of roasting pan.
Place rack inside pan and place turkey on the rack and tent foil loosely to start ... for the first hour of roasting.
Basting often from the pan drippings until the skin is deep golden. Insert thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and thighs, make sure it doesn't touch the bone, to check for when its done cooking at 175°F.
For a 8 to 14 lb turkey bake time its between 2 to 4 hours; over 14 lb you are looking at 4 to 5 hours.
I must point out that I am a graduated from the Institution For Integrative Nutrition and they provide us, their students, with tons of recipes, but I spice it up a bit. Remember I am Jamaican and we love food that has flavor. Spice doesn't mean hot just adding more flavor to the meat.