Brined Turkey with Fine Herb Butter
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 cup Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 12 average size bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon coarse grind black pepper
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1 rosemary sprigs
- 16 cups ice cold water
- 1 turkey (13-15 pounds)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, soft
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
- 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon
- 4 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Note: since the bird has been brined no additional salt is needed
- 4 medium-sized shallots
- 1 apple
- 4 carrots
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 3 tarragon sprigs
- 3 parsley sprigs
- You will also need butcher twine (about 1ft., ask your butcher)
- For brine: Boil first listed water, salt, brown sugar, allspice, bay leaves, black pepper, thyme, and rosemary. Let cool completely and then add second listed cold water.
- Remove innards of turkey and place breast side down in a large stockpot or bucket. (Do not use a huge pot as it will have to go in refrigerator.) Pour brining liquid over turkey to completely submerge bird. Place in refrigerator overnight or up to 14-16 hours.
- Next day prepare herb butter: remove leaves from tarragon and retain stems and less desirable leaves to be stuffed inside the turkey later. Combine all herbs and seasoning with butter and set aside.
- Turn oven on at 450°F and remove turkey from brine. Place in a roasting pan or on roasting rack. Discard brine and pat bird dry with paper towels.
- Squeeze your hand underneath skin of turkey and place a liberal amount of herb butter underneath skin. Repeat until all herb butter is used.
- Cut shallots in rings, cut unpeeled apple in 12 slices, slice carrots in rings and place along with remaining herbs inside turkey.
- Cross turkey legs together and tie with butcher twine. Tuck wings underneath turkey. Oil outside skin of turkey liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle with additional ground black pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, and paprika and place in oven. (No salt needed.)
- Bake for 30 minutes at 450°F and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until the thickest part of bird has reached 162°F, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Let cool slightly before carving.
Tip: Brining turkey ensures a tender and juicy meat. Omitting this step will not provide you with the same delicious result. Remember that a frozen turkey takes several days to defrost in the refrigerator before it is ready to be used.