Recipe: Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey

Ingredients:

1 Turkey
2 lemons
1/4 cup of sea salt
2 sprigs of rosemary

Pre-Seasoning the turkey:

Wash the turkey both inside and out in luke warm water. Pat it dry with paper towels. Cut your lemons in half and rub the entire skin with them, gently squeezing as you go. This will tighten the skins and make it more crisp in the oven. When you are done, put the lemons inside the turkey. Sprinkle a generous coat of sea salt on the turkey then gently rub it into the turkey. Leave this out on your countertop at room temperature for at least one hour, more is fine. You don't have to worry about the turkey spoiling. It takes about 4 hours for that to start and you're going to cook it.

Place the turkey on a roasting rack. This is really important for a good result. If you just toss it into a roasting pan, your juices and fat will collect in the bottom of the pan. The bottom will be boiling or frying and the top will be baking. This is why thighs end up so tough. If you don't have a roasting rack, take foil wrap and crunch it into baseball-sized balls and line the bottom of your roaster. It will keep the turkey elevated.

Keep the stuffing to the side.

When you put stuffing into the turkey, you tend to overcook the outside. It takes a lot longer and you need to keep baking until the stuffing is 165 degrees to be safe. This always results in an overdone outside. Just go for the flavor you want in your gravy. I like a quartered onion, a bit of sage, and a few sprigs of rosemary.

Cook to temperature:

Turkeys are quite forgiving on the exact temperature your cook them. The most important thing is to watch the temperature. The plastic pop-up that comes with the turkey is set for about 180 degrees, which assures you an overcooked turkey. Take the turkey out at 165 and let it sit for 30 minutes before you carve it. This will allow the juice to re-absorb into the tissue.

Convection Oven: Use convection roast at 325
Standard Oven: Bake at 350
Steam Oven: Convection Steam 325. Takes just over an hour.
Outdoor Grill: Put on a baking sheet. Use indirect heat by lighting the opposite side only. This will be very unpredictable on time, so leave plenty flexibility into your plan.

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