ROASTED WHOLE TURKEY
INGREDIENTS FOR THE TURKEY
- 12-pound whole turkey, raw
- 3 cups carrots, peeled and large dice
- 3 cups celery, large dice
- 3 cups onions, peeled and large dice
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 sprigs sage, fresh
- 4 sprigs rosemary, fresh
- 3 sprigs thyme, fresh
- 2 pounds butter, softened
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 4-5 cups water
- 2-3 feet butcher’s twine
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BRINE
- 2 gallons water
- ½ cup salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 4 sprigs sage
- 2 sprigs thyme
- Day 1: Brine – Dissolve sugar and salt in warm water and add herbs. Chill and cover turkey with brine and refrigerate for 1-2 days. 2 days is best.
- Day 2-3: Remove turkey from brine.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Pull breast skin up and rub 1/3 butter onto breast meat. Make sure butter is softened.
- Stuff cavity with 1 cup carrots, onions, carrots, bay leaf, garlic, ½ of herbs, and 1/3 of butter.
- Truss with butcher twine so wings are under back and legs are closed tight.
- Rub whole bird with rest of butter and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- In roasting pan, add rest of vegetables, herbs, and water.
- Add turkey to pan on top of vegetables and put in oven uncovered.
- Every 30 minutes baste top of turkey using ladle with water butter mixture. Baste it 5 times covering entire bird with liquid mixture.
- Once turkey is golden brown, cover with foil.
- Continue this process until internal temperature of turkey (taken from breastbone or thigh joint) reaches 165 degrees F.
- Remove from oven and remove turkey from pan, save the basting liquid.
- Allow to rest for 30-60 minutes.
- With knife begin to carve the turkey, following the steps below.
- Breast – Carve straight down breast plate bone removing both breasts. Then slice. Reserve in basting liquid.
- Thighs & Legs – Remove at joints. Pick meat or leave whole. Reserve in basting liquid.
- Wings – Remove at joints. Pick meat or leave whole. Reserve in basting liquid.
- Body – Pick as much meat as desired.
- Optional – Strain liquid from roasting pan and use for your gravy.
Your bird will take about 6-8 hours. If you plan to serve your turkey before 12 pm, then start overnight. If you’re serving in the afternoon, start around 4 am. You can roast at 325-350 degrees F and your turkey will cook much faster, but it won’t be as tender. Roasting at this temperature will take about 2-3 hours. You do not have to use butchers twine if you do not want to use it. Just tuck wings underneath turkey so tips do not burn.
From the kitchen of Chef Kyle Williams.