Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey
Author: Chef JR Jacobson
Photograph: Xuan Huang


Per serving: 376.9 calories, 45.43g protein, 15.6g fat, 11.26g carb, 0.47g dietary fiber, 5.42g saturated fat, 9.05g total sugar, 4.4g added sugar
Significant source for: Protein, Phosphorus, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, Choline.


24 Servings

6  quarts water

3  cups apple juice

2  oranges, cut into wedges

3/4  cup salt

2  small yellow onions, quartered

3/4  cup brown sugar

6  cloves garlic

5  sprigs fresh rosemary

6  bay leaves

1  turkey brine bag

1  whole turkey

1/2  cup unsalted butter

2  tablespoons minced garlic

1  tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

2  teaspoons orange zest


step 1.

In a large stock pot, over medium-high heat, combine all brine ingredients. Bring to a low boil, remove from heat, cover and allow to cool to room temperature. Place the pot in refrigerator to speed up cooling process.

step 2.

Place turkey into brining bag, breast side up. Pour cooled brine over turkey, seal and place into refrigerator for 16-24 hours. Turn turkey, breast side down, halfway through brining.

step 3.

On the Thanksgiving day: remove turkey from brining bag 30 minutes before cooking. Place breast side up on roasting rack, pat dry.

step 4.

Preheat oven to 350°.

step 5.

In a medium bowl, combine butter, rosemary, garlic, orange zest, mix thoroughly. Set aside.

step 6.

Divide mixture in half. Gently loosen the skin from the breast meat of the turkey. Evenly distribute the mixture between the breast skin and meat completely on both sides.

step 7.

Pat turkey cavity dry. Gently add stuffing, do not overfill. Cross one turkey leg over the other and tie closed using kitchen twine.

step 8.

Place turkey in a deep roasting pan fitted with a rack. Gently cover turkey with aluminum foil. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted into the breasts reads 170° in the thigh and 160° in the breast. At this time remove the foil and continue to cook until the temperatures increase to 180° and 170° respectively and the bird is a golden brown, about 30 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.