It's November, the eating-est month of the year. In celebration of the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, we'll spend the month offering up recipes that would make nice, change-of-pace additions to your big meal. This recipe is the one that the author of the famous food blog www.thepioneerwomancooks.com uses for her never-fail Thanksgiving bird.
1 whole brining bag
1 whole fresh turkey (I use A 20-pound turkey)
1 jar (about 1 pound of spices) Williams Sonoma turkey brine
1 stick butter
Brine the turkey. Bring one gallon of water to a boil, then open the jar of brining spice and take a whiff. Pour the spices into the boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until cold.
Remove the turkey from its packaging and remove the bags inside that hold the neck and giblets. Rinse them and put them in a Ziploc bag in the fridge because you will need them later. Rinse the turkey thoroughly with cold water. Place the turkey into a large brining bag and place in the fridge for 16-24 hours and let it work its magic.
After the turkey has slurped up all of the wonderful flavor of the brine for 16-24 hours, remove it from the brining bag and rinse the turkey thoroughly again inside and out.
Now tuck the legs and wings however you like to tuck them and place bird, breast side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover the turkey tightly with heavy-duty foil. Make sure it is entirely covered (cover over the bottom edges of the pan. Place in a pre-heated 275 degree oven and walk away. The rule of thumb now is to roast the turkey at 275 degrees for about 10 minutes per pound. So for a 20-pound turkey, roast it at 275 degrees for about 3 1/2 hours. (For a 15-pound turkey, roast it for 2 1/2 hours.) Note: there'll still be more cooking time after this, but it'll be at a different temperature).
When it's time to remove the turkey from the oven, melt one stick of butter in a bowl. Remove the turkey from the oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees. Remove the aluminum foil and set aside. Brush 1/3 of the butter all over the skin of the turkey. Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, near the hip joint. Place the turkey uncovered back into the oven. Continue roasting the turkey, basting with butter every 30 minutes until the thermometer registers 170 degrees and until the juices are no longer pink.
Remove from oven, cover with foil until you are ready to serve it.