OMG, That's a Good Turkey!
There is one thing I should point out. The instructions that came with the roaster said to cook the turkey at 4 and 1/2 hours for an 18 pound bird but I did not follow these instructions because the turkey had already been soaked in brine. If cooked as instructed, the turkey would have been completely overcooked. One other thing I would also like to point out that although the 24 and 1/2 hour prep time may seem cumbersome, the reason it takes so long is because the step of soaking the turkey in the brine overnight. An additional 3 and 1/2 hours of this time is the time the turkey spends in the roaster with no attention at all needed. The actual hands on prep time is closer to 45 minutes including preparing the brine and preparing the turkey with the oil and butter mixture.
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- frozen, 18 pound butterball turkey, partially thawed for three days in the refrigerator
- for the brine ( you need an 8 guart pot and 5 gallon bucket)
- orange, cut in half (or lemon or both)
- slices of fresh peeled ginger about the size of a quarter
- 3 Tbsp
- 1 c
- kosher salt
- 6 inch sprigs of rosemary, left whole
- cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2 Tbsp
- soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp
- worchestershire sauce
- 1 tsp
- poultry seasoning
- 3 inch sprigs of thyme, left whole
- 1 tsp
- sage or several fresh sprigs of sage
- to season the turkey
- stick of butter, melted
- 1/4 c
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 c
- chopped fresh parsley
- 1/8 c
- thyme leaves
- fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1/4 tsp
- greek seasoning
- salt and fresh ground pepper
1For the brine, add all food ingredients from the orange to the sage with the exception of the turkey into an 8 quart pot and boil for 30 minutes. Let cool.
2Remove turkey from package and rinse well. Place breast down into the 5 gallon plastic pail.
3Pour brine over the turkey and add ice and water until the brine covers the turkey. Let the turkey sit in the brine for 24 hours. Over the next 24 hours, keep a check and add ice, if needed, to keep the turkey cold.
4After 24 hours, remove the turkey from the brine and place on counter.
5Loosen the skin from the bird by running your hand under the skin in all directions as far as you can.
6Melt one stick of butter in a bowl and add 1/4 Cup of extra virgin olive oil once the butter has been melted.
7Add chopped fresh parsley, thyme, Greek seasoning and sage leaves to the butter and olive oil mixture and stir until blended.
8Spoon butter mixture under the skin of the turkey and on the outside of the turkey and rub in well. Salt and pepper the turkey skin lightly.
9Place turkey, neck, liver and gizzard in roaster if making giblet gravy, put the lid on and set the dial for 350 degrees.
10Cook for 3 and 1/2 hours and do not remove the lid during this time because you will loose your steam and it will take a long time to build back up to the 350 temperature and this will mess up the amount of time it takes to cook the turkey. I know you will be tempted to peek but do not!!! This is very important!
11After three and one half hours, remove the lid and allow the steam to escape for a few minutes. Insert a meat thermometer into the fattest part of the breast and thigh and make sure that the turkey's temperature is at 180 degrees.
12Remove the turkey, carve the bird and enjoy!