Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rosemary and Peppercorn Brined Turkey

Rosemary and Peppercorn Brine Turkey
Dried rosemary leaves
Whole black peppercorns
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
2 small-medium onions, roughly chopped
Poultry seasoning
Vegetable oil or butter

1-3 days before you are ready to cook your turkey, rinse it off and put it in a 5 gallon bucket or a pan big enough to hold the turkey and cover it with water. Fill it up with cold water, making sure your turkey is fully covered. For your brine you will use 1/2 cup salt for every gallon of water. Add salt, 1 container dried rosemary leaves, and 2 palmfuls of whole black peppers into the water. If your turkey is sticking out of the water at all, cover with a clean rag. It will absorb the water and keep the turkey wet. Keep the turkey in a cold (below 40 degrees) place for 1-3 days until you are ready to cook it.

The day you are ready to cook the turkey, preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Pull turkey out of brine and dry off with paper towels.
Stuff the cavity of the turkey with some of the celery, carrot and onion. Put in a large roasting pan and put the remaining celery, carrot and onion in the bottom of the pan. Rub the top of the turkey with vegetable oil or room temperature butter. Season with poultry seasoning and a little salt and pepper. (Don't use too much salt, it was in a brine)

Put turkey into a preheated oven with the legs in the back for 30 minutes. (The turkey should be golden brown). Pull out of oven and cover only the breast with tin foil. Leaving the legs exposed, put back in the oven with the legs in the back and drop the oven temperature to 350. Leave in the oven until the breast temperature reaches 161 degrees. (If you have a 15 pound turkey, it will be about an hour and a half). Pull out of the oven when the breast is 161 degrees. Cover with foil and let it rest for at LEAST 30 minutes. This will let the juices re-distribute.

Carve and serve

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