Wow your Thanksgiving guests with this juicy, flavorful turkey. OXO will choose one winner to receive several tools to make hosting Thanksgiving easier!
It's getting to be my favorite time of year. It kicks off on Thanksgiving Day. For the past two years, I've hosted Thanksgiving dinner (last year, for Dave's family; this year, for my family).
I love the aromas, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, spending time with family, the FEAST, the leftovers ... and the anticipation of Christmas!
I first brined a turkey several years ago, and absolutely loved the results. A "brine" is a salty solution, and you refrigerate the turkey in the salty liquid for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours. Salt actually breaks down the muscle fibers of the meat, so if you brine too long, the meat can actually become mushy. Not tasty.
Salt also draws liquid out of the meat. Now, you may be confused, because I just said that brining keeps the turkey juicy. Well, the liquid flows back into the turkey while brining, taking with it whatever flavorings (in this case, Riesling, cider, allspice, orange peel and sage) are in the brine.
I also got to team up with OXO and test out some of their kitchen tools that make hosting Thanksgiving easier: a covered butter dish, a baster, a 2-cup fat separator cup, and my favorites: a twine dispenser, and a turkey lifter. The covered twine dispenser keeps the twine clean (no more worrying about handling raw meat, then handling twine) and has a nifty (removable!) cutter.
Have you ever had trouble getting your holiday turkey out of the roasting pan? Worried about it slipping out of your rubber oven-safe gloves as you lift it? This simple tool makes getting your turkey from roasting pan to serving platter so easy. Simply hook the turkey, position the prongs on either side of the breast bone, and lift up to 24 pounds!
And OXO is giving away one set of all five tools to one lucky winner! Simply scroll to the end of this post to enter to win!
- 2 quarts water, divided
- ¾ cup kosher salt
- 2 tbsp whole allspice
- 2 inch strips of orange peel, 8-
- 4 leaves dried bay
- 8 leaves to 10 fresh sage, torn in half
- 1 quart apple cider, plus another cup for basting
- 1 750 mL bottle dry Riesling
- 10 pound turkey
- 2 tbsp to 4 soft unsalted butter
- Pour two cups of the water into a large stockpot. Add the kosher salt, allspice, orange peel and bay leaves. Heat just until bubbles begin to form at the edge of the pot, and cook at a simmer for 5 minutes, until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
- Add the torn sage leaves, remaining water, apple cider and Riesling to the pot and stir well.
- Place a brining inside a Dutch oven or other large, deep pot. Fold the top down around the sides of the pot. Remove and reserve the giblets and neck from the turkey, and place inside the brining bag. Carefully pour the brine over the turkey, and seal the brining bag, removing as much air as possible. Place the pot containing the bagged turkey on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Leave for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours.
- Remove the turkey from the brine; discard the brine. Pat the turkey dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
- Line a roasting pan with paper towels, and place the turkey in the pan. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the paper towels from the roasting pan. Slide your fingers between the skin and the flesh of the turkey to separate. Rub the butter over the flesh, under the skin of the turkey.
- Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, and baste with a quarter-cup of the cider. Roast another 30 minutes, and baste with another quarter cup of the cider. Repeat two more times. If the turkey skin starts to get too dark, tent the turkey loosely with tin foil. Continue roasting until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg (but not near the bone) reads 155 degrees. Remove the turkey from the oven, and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes (carryover cooking will bring the turkey up to the FDA-approved temperature of 165 degrees).
- Carve the turkey and serve.
Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart