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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means it's time to talk turkey – literally! Whether you're a newbie in the kitchen or a seasoned pro, cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving can feel like a big deal. But fear not! We're here to guide you through the entire process, step by step. Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks and sharing a fantastic meal with friends and family. And the star of the show? That's right, the turkey! We're going to help you make this turkey-cooking journey simple, fun, and oh-so-delicious.
In this blog, we'll break down the turkey-cooking process into easy-to-follow steps, share some helpful tips, and make sure you feel confident in the kitchen. So, whether you're planning your first Thanksgiving feast or just looking to up your turkey game, let's get ready to cook up a storm and create a turkey that'll have everyone saying, "Yum!" Let's dive into the world of turkey cooking made easy, and make this Thanksgiving a tasty triumph with Kookio!
This turkey recipe involves a simple yet crucial step: brining. Brining the turkey for 24 hours allows it to absorb incredible flavors and become tender and juicy. But the magic doesn't stop there. We'll also create a fragrant compound butter infused with fresh herbs, garlic, and citrus zest that will elevate the turkey's taste to new heights.
So, let's dive into the culinary adventure and prepare a roasted whole turkey that's the star of your Thanksgiving spread.
BRINE THE TURKEY (24 HOURS PRIOR)
In a large container, combine 1.75 gallons of water, 1 3⁄4 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, lemon halves, and a few sprigs of fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme).
Immerse the turkey in the brine, ensuring it's fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
The amount of water and salt depends on the weight of the turkey. Our recipe makes enough brine for 18-20-pound turkey.
If your turkey is out of that range, to determine how much water you are going to need, place the turkey, while still in its packaging, in the container and fill the container with water. Once the container is filled, remove the turkey and measure the water. Since the turkey is basically hollow, you'll need to add a few extra cups of water to compensate for later when it is out of its wrapping. For a turkey under 16 pounds, add 2 cups of water to your measurement. For a turkey over 16 pounds add 3 cups. For the salt you need 1 cup of table salt per gallon of water; this works out to 1 tablespoon of salt per cup of water (16 cups in a gallon, 16 tablespoons in a cup).
PREPARING THE TURKEY
After 24 hours, remove the turkey from the brine. Rinse it inside and out, and pat it dry
with paper towels.
Preheat your oven or light your grill to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C).
CREATING THE COMPOUND BUTTER
In a mixing bowl, combine softened butter, chopped sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, minced garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
PREPARING THE TURKEY FOR ROASTING
Carefully peel the skin on top of the turkey breast, creating a pocket between the skin and the meat - Not like us. We went a little bit aggressive on the skin, nevertheless, we managed to successfully proceed with the massaging.
Gently massage the compound butter under the turkey skin, ensuring it covers as much of the breast meat as possible.
Season the turkey inside and out with salt and black pepper.
Place the quartered onion and halved lime inside the turkey cavity.
ROASTING THE TURKEY
Place the prepared turkey in a roasting pan, breast side up or directly to the grill.
Roast the turkey in the preheated oven or the grill for 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C).
REST, CARVE, AND ENJOY
Once your turkey is perfectly roasted, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least
30 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a juicy turkey.
Carve the turkey, serve with your favorite Thanksgiving sides, and savor the extraordinary flavors of your culinary masterpiece.
This roasted whole turkey recipe with herbed compound butter is a surefire way to make your Thanksgiving feast truly memorable. From the 24-hour brine to the fragrant herb-infused butter, every step is designed to create a turkey that's tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor. So, this Thanksgiving, gather your loved ones, roll up your sleeves, and embark on a culinary adventure that will have everyone giving thanks for your amazing cooking skills. Happy Thanksgiving, and bon appétit!