When it comes to the turkey, you want to make sure you’re doing it right! It’s the star of the show so the last thing you want is to serve a flavorless dry turkey. This turkey will blow you away with its juicy inside, yummy skin, and salty flavor. Mmm it’s so good I’m drooling just thinking about it! I’ve used plenty of turkey recipes throughout my life and this one by far is the best. Last week I decided to get on food network to get inspired for a brine and method. The pioneer woman had wonderful reviews and tons of helpful comments. I decided to use her brine and method (just altered a bit). I added a few other herbs, discarded some items and changed little things here and there. But I must give her credit for my inspiration and the way I cooked the turkey. I’m so glad I found inspiration off her recipe, because this turkey was just perfect!
Since everyone cooks a different size turkey, you can alter this recipe according to that. I used about a 9 lb. turkey so it only took about 3.5 hours to complete.
Prep time: 12-24 hours
Cook time: 3-6 hours depending on size
Total time: 30 hours
1 turkey (I used an 8-10 lb. turkey) but you can use whatever size you’d prefer.
2-3 gallons cold water
3/4 cup kosher salt
1 orange, peel of
1 lemon, peel of
1.5 cups brown sugar, packed
8 bay leaves
4 rosemary sprigs
4 thyme sprigs
3 cups apple cider
1-2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
3 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
Take out turkey and remove bags of giblets and neck. Set aside. Rinse the turkey and pat dry.
Bring all ingredients of the brine to a boil and cook until sugar and salt are dissolved. Turn off heat and let cool completely.
Add turkey to the brine and let sit in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry and place on a roasting pan. Fill the cavity of the turkey with onions, lemons, or garlic for flavor. (Although this step is not necessary). Tie up the legs and wings with cooking twine or tuck them under. Cover the turkey with foil so that the entire pan is enclosed.
Place the turkey in the oven for about 10 minutes per pound. Since I have a 9 lb turkey, I cooked it for an hour and a half.
While the turkey cooks, mix together the herb butter and set aside.
Remove turkey from the oven and take off foil. Rub the entire bird with the herb butter, inside and out.
Turn the temperature up to 350 degrees F. Place the turkey back into the oven and cook until the internal temperature (of the thigh) registers 165 degrees. This will take another 1-3 hours depending on the size of your turkey. Since the dark meat cooks slowest, it’s important to go off of the thigh temperature and not the breast.
Note: baste the turkey with its pan juices every 30 minutes till the turkey is ready.
Once the turkey is ready, remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before carving. Or cover with foil until ready to eat.