Saturday, November 17, 2012

Let's Talk Turkey!

The last  2 years I have used a brine recipe from Martha Stewart.  We have a love/hate relationship!  I love this recipe but I'm thinking about trying something new this year.  One of my very first blogs I started following is Dog Island Farm.  I found them from   I'll share both recipes since I'm still on the fence about which recipe to use.  

I love Rachel's recipe for "The Best Turkey You'll Ever Eat."

Martha's Turkey
"The Perfect Turkey"
from Martha Stewart

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

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

"The Best Turkey You'll Ever Eat"

For Brine:
1 gallon unsweetened apple juice
3/4 cup salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6-8 slices of ginger
2 Tbs peppercorns
2 Tbs allspice berries
2 Tbs whole cloves
2 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan. Stir in salt and sugar. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes and then allow to cool completely.

Unwrap the thawed turkey, remove the giblets and place neck end down into clean cooler. Pour cooled brine over the bird. Add water until the bird is completely submerged. Add a bunch of ice on top to keep cool. Put lid on cooler and leave undisturbed for at least 12 hours.

For Roasting:

1/4 lb butter (1 stick) cut into pats
2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbs chopped fresh Thyme
2 Tbs chopped fresh Oregano
2 cups chicken broth
Olive Oil

1. Remove bird from brine and let brine drain out of cavity. Don’t rinse bird.
2. Coat roasting pan with olive oil and place bird breast side up in it.
3. Using your hands separate skin from breast and legs. Rub the chopped herbs onto the meat.
4. Place the cut pats of butter under the skin in various locations, including the legs. Pour chicken broth over bird.
5. Cover bird with lid of pan or foil and place in a preheated oven at 350 deg.
6. Roast for two hours basting every hour. Remove foil and allow bird to brown, basting every 20 min.
7. Continue to roast bird until interior temp reaches 165 deg. Can range from 1-2 additional hours depending on whether the bird is stuffed. Make sure when taking the temp that the thermometer is through the thickest part of the breast and is not touching bone.


  1. I LOVE brined turkeys I think it is the only way to go. Alton Brown has a WONDERFUL turkey recipe. I have used it for about six years and never have I been disappointed. Thanks so much for sharing on Super Sweet Saturday.

  2. Hi, I'm a new follower from the Sweet Saturday blog hop! I'm so glad I found your post. I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year and cooking the turkey. I'm not the best at cooking a turkey so I am sure glad you posted this! Thanks!

    1. Theresa, If you need a go-to recipe I HIGHLY recommend Martha's recipe. It was amazing last year!

  3. They both sound fabulous!

    Thank you so much for linking up to Raising Imperfection!

  4. Mmmm..Turkey!
    Can't wait for Thursday :)

    Thank you so much for linking up to Raising Imperfection today! Please come back Friday to see if you were featured! Happy Thanksgiving :)


  5. This year, I'm enjoying someone else's turkey but I will certainly save this for the future. Thank you for sharing at my Our Favorite Things Link party. Have a great week.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Karri! I found turkey as low as .59 per pound so I might just try both recipes (at different times). Have a great week!

  6. It does look like the perfect turkey recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    I'm visiting from the Raising Imperfection Hop.

  7. Turkey is an item that I have never attempted. I was turned off of the first recipe by a few ingredients, so I will be honest and admit I didn't read the full instructions. Love the ingredient list on the second. It sounds complicated but delicious.
    Thanks for joining Raising Imperfection this week.

  8. Both recipes sound good to me! Glad you linked up at "I Gotta Try That" Have a great Thanksgiving!

  9. Thanks for the delicious recipes. Lucky for me, I'm not making the turkey this year!!! Thanks so much for sharing at Sweet Saturday :) And have a nice holiday!

  10. I can almost smell the turkey as I read your recipes!

  11. Ordinary Words...I'm not cooking the turkey this year, but your M.S. brine recipe will be copy/pasted♫♪

  12. Turkey looks delicious. Let us know which one you make. Thanks for linking to Recipe Box.

  13. Hi, wanted to let you know that you were featured on Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby (again!) this weekend: Can't wait to see what you share this week :)


Thank you for visiting Mary's Kitchen and taking the time to comment! Please do not leave links in comments. They will be deleted.
Have an awesome day!