Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Recommendation

Lets face it! Your turkey is the main attraction to your table on Thanksgiving day. You can set your table up with your nice china and silverware. You can spend hours creating a masterpiece for the center of your table. But nothing and I mean nothing will matter if your turkey turns out bad.

So I'm here to save your day and post the most amazing turkey recipe. Ever. 

My recipe isn't something that I made up. Unfortunately its not mine. But I've been going by this recipe since 2005 now and its turned out amazing each and every year. As a matter of fact The Man doesn't even want me to follow any other recipe. What more can you ask for? The owner of the recipe is non other than Ms. Martha Stewart. I am a true lover of all things Martha. She is my idol. I love her. Sigh.

Martha calls this recipe the Perfect Turkey. And that it is. This is a multi-day process so please make sure you read through and allow yourself proper time. I would also like to mention that yes the brine calls for massive amounts of salt. Please do not be alarmed. It's only a brine. I'm not a big salt person but trust me when I say you need to follow the suggested amounts. A few years back we went to a friends house for Thanksgiving and she needed a turkey recipe. I shared this one with her. She was afraid to use all the salt and so she cut it down. The turkey was seriously lacking in flavor. As someone who orders her fries without the salt, I promise the turkey will not taste over salted. 

SO..here is the recipe that the awesome Martha Stewart created. 

  • Serves 12 to 14


  • 3 cups coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), rinsed and patted dry, giblets and neck reserved for gravy
  • Gravy
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • Stuffing
  • Crab apples, fresh rosemary sprigs, and fresh sage, for garnish (optional)


  1. Put salt, sugar, onions, leeks, carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, peppercorns, and 10 cups water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, stirring until salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat; let brine cool completely.
  2. Add turkey, breast first, to the brine. Cover; refrigerate 24 hours. Remove from brine; pat dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Stir together melted butter and wine in a medium bowl. Fold a very large piece of cheesecloth into quarters so that it is large enough to cover breast and halfway down sides of turkey. Immerse cloth in butter mixture; let soak.
  4. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack set in a roasting pan. Fold wing tips under turkey. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey. Loosely fill body and neck cavities with stuffing. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Fold neck flap under; secure with toothpicks. Rub turkey all over with softened butter; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove cheesecloth from butter mixture, squeezing gently into bowl. Reserve butter mixture for brushing. Lay cheesecloth over turkey. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Roast 30 minutes. Brush cheesecloth and exposed turkey with butter mixture. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Roast, brushing every 30 minutes, 2 1/2 hours more; cover with foil if browning too quickly. If making gravy, add giblets and neck to pan 1 1/2 hours after reducing temperature; roast 30 minutes, and reserve.
  6. Discard cheesecloth; rotate pan. Baste turkey with pan juices. Roast, rotating pan halfway through, until skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees and stuffing reaches 165 degrees, about 1 hour. Transfer to a platter. Set pan with drippings aside for gravy. Let turkey stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes. Garnish, if desired.
Link for reference http://www.marthastewart.com/353177/perfect-roast-turkey

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