Basic Brine Ingredients:
1 cup sea salt
1 gallon water
1 cup raw sugar or honey (optional)
1 bunch fresh sage (optional)
1 bunch fresh thyme (optional)
3 tablespoons black pepper (optional)
Basic Brine Instructions: Bring all ingredients to a boil; remove from heat and refrigerate. Place thawed turkey in a large pot or food grade 5 gallon bucket that will allow most of the turkey to be submerged in the brine, or use a commercially available brining bag (available from Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table stores in DFW area or on their web sites.) and refrigerate (or put in an ice chest if your refrigerator is full). Keep turkey in brine for 12 to 24 hours.
Cooking your Turkey: When it is time to cook the turkey, lift it out of the brine, rinse with cold water and dry with paper towels. Use the following herbed butter recipe to prepare the turkey for roasting. Slide a small rubber spatula between the skin and the meat to separate them. Insert half of the butter mixture under the skin and spread evenly. Rub the remaining butter mixture on the outside of the skin. If you wish, fill the body cavity with stuffing. Truss the bird loosely with butcher’s twine, season with salt and pepper, and place in roasting pan. Add 1 cup stock to pan and roast until internal temperature of thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees. The turkey may be loosely covered with foil for part of cooking time to help retain moisture. The foil should be removed so the skin can be beautifully browned and crisp by the time the turkey is done.
8 tablespoons softened real butter
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped sage
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped shallots (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped chives (optional)
ROASTING TIMES @ 325 deg F.
Begin to check for doneness 30 minutes before suggested cooking time. For an unstuffed turkey.
8-12 lbs. 1.5 – 2 1/2 hours
12-16 lbs. 2 – 3 hours
16-20 lbs. 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours
Using a meat thermometer 165 deg F at the thickest part of the thigh.
The Hutchins Family: Mark, Hillary, Katie, Weldon, Suzi, Edythe, Margaret & Henry.