Holiday Roast Turkey
Andy Anderson !
This recipe is based on our family tradition, and I really haven't varied it. If you have your favorite way to roast a holiday turkey, then use it, because part of the holidays (at least to me) is tradition.
However, if you are looking for a simple flavorful way to cook a wonderful holiday turkey, and just maybe you're looking to start your own traditions, then give this one a try.
So, let's talk turkey...
- 18 lb
- free-range turkey
- 3 medium
- oranges, blood oranges, if you can find them
- 2 stick
- sweet butter, at room temperature
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp
- paprika, sweet mild
Brining a Turkey
Using your hand, starting at the rear (the cavity opening), separate the skin of the turkey from the breasts... push as far as you can and move into the legs.
Chef's Note: If you have large hands, you might want to use the handle of a wooden spoon to separate the skin from the flesh.
Chef's Note: The stuffing will expand as it cooks, so fill... don't pack.
Tuck the wings under the body, and use some kitchen twin to tie the legs together. In addition, I stitch the cavity containing the stuffing closed, but that's optional.
Chef's Note: To get the best circulation, consider using a V rack inside the pan. Not only will this help to circulate air about the turkey, it will keep it from sitting in it's own pan juices.
Cooking time on a 18-pound brined bird will be between 4 and 5 hours.
I use 1 cup apple juice with 1 cup dry white wine, as a starter baste.
After the first hour, the butter that you added to the turkey, along with some nice drippings will appear at the bottom of the pan as it cooks, and I use these along with my starter liquid to do the basting.