Roasted Brined Turkey

Published November 1, 2004.

Why this recipe works:

Big birds and small birds, kosher birds, and self-basting birds—with all of these choices, and more, on the market, how can the home cook make the right choice and then cook the bird properly? Our roasted turkey recipe allows for a brined or an unbrined turkey (we found you should never brine… read more

Big birds and small birds, kosher birds, and self-basting birds—with all of these choices, and more, on the market, how can the home cook make the right choice and then cook the bird properly? Our roasted turkey recipe allows for a brined or an unbrined turkey (we found you should never brine a kosher or a self-basting bird because it will become too salty) and for a turkey brined for four hours or overnight (the shorter the soak, the saltier the brine). It also provides timing and temperature guidelines for small (12- to 15-pound), medium (15- to 18-pound), and large (18- to 22-pound) birds (large birds get a hotter oven to start out, then a cooler oven to let them cook through without burning the skin).

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Carving a Turkey

Carving a turkey doesn't need to be a challenge; just follow these simple steps. The first tip is to carve in the kitchen, not at the dinner table.

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Serves 10 to 22, depending on turkey size

We offer two brine formulas: one for a 4- to 6-hour brine and another for a 12- to 14-hour brine. The amount of salt used in each brine does not change with turkey size. If you’re roasting a kosher or self-basting turkey, do not brine it; it already contains a good amount of sodium. Rotating the bird from a breast-side down position to a breast-side up position midway through cooking helps to produce evenly cooked dark and white meat. If you’re roasting a large (18- to 22-pound) bird and are reluctant to rotate it, skip the step of lining the V-rack with foil and roast the bird breast-side up for the full time. If making gravy, scatter 1 cup each of coarsely chopped onion, celery, and carrot as well as several fresh thyme sprigs in the roasting pan at the outset; add 1 cup water to keep the vegetables from burning.

Ingredients

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