Thanksgiving 2008 I decided I wanted to cook my very first Turkey with my favorite side dishes to have at my house for leftovers. After I had planned it all out, I ended up having more people over than I had originally anticipated so I ended up making two small turkeys.
Turkey #1: Rosemary brine smoked turkey
Find a pot large enough to hold your turkey and fill with cold water. Add about a cup of salt (I use kosher course salt), a couple palm fulls of dried rosemary, some peppercorns (barely broken up) and fresh garlic. Soak turkey overnight. I covered my pot and turkey with a rag so that the top stayed wet as well. When the turkey was finished with it's brine bath, I had it smoked.
Turkey #2: Herb butter turkey
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
1/4 cup fresh sage, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed very fine
Combine in a small bowl and mash with fork until completely mixed.
1 Tbsp pepper
2 Tbsp poultry seasoning
2 ribs celery
3 rosemary sprigs
1/2 bunch sage
1 bay leaf
Mix pepper, salt and poultry seasoning. Apply liberally inside turkey cavity. Put rosemary and sage in cavity. Put some root vegetables in cavity. Rub herb butter under the skin. Rub butter all over the turkey and spice liberally with the salt, pepper and poultry seasoning mix. Put on top of vegetables breast down so juices drain into breast meat. Add a little water to vegetables. Put a little foil on top of turkey.
Roast at 325, 18 minutes per pound.
165 is the finished temperature (take out 10 degrees early and let sit)
[Check thickest part of thigh for temperature]
Turn turkey over and remove foil for the last 20 or so minutes to let turkey brown on top.
About every half an hour I would baste the turkey with the herb butter broth.
Along with my turkey I made sour cream and chive mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Yum!