Brining a turkey before roasting helps to seal in moisture and ensure your bird comes out juicy and delicious every time!
- For the Brine (for a small bird):
- 1/2 cup table salt (or 1 cup kosher salt)
- 1/4 cup sugar (can also use maple syrup or honey)
- 2 quarts cool water
- For the Sage Butter:
- 1/2 cup organic unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- For the Turkey:
- 1 recipe sage butter
- 2 pounds carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
- 1 pound celery, roughly chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage
- 1 large navel orange
FOR THE BRINE (for a small bird):
Stir everything together in a saucepan, heating and stirring until sugar/salt dissolves. Stir in remaining water and refrigerate until cooled.
The night before the meal, start with a fresh, all-natural turkey. Remove everything from the cavity including neck and set aside. Rinse bird and pat dry with paper towels. Place bird inside an oven-safe cooking bag. Pour brine over bird and let it soak for 12 to 18 hours.
FOR THE SAGE BUTTER:
Blend ingredients together, set aside.
FOR THE TURKEY:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove bird from brine, rinse well and pat dry. Using a spatula, loosen the skin from the meat around the breast of the turkey. Using the spatula and your hands, massage the sage butter into the cavity you've created. Lay out the roughly chopped vegetables in a roasting pan. Place the turkey breast-side up on top of the vegetables. Rub the turkey with olive oil and light salt and pepper it. Don't forget inside the cavity!
Arrange sprigs of herbs around the bird and inside the cavity. Prick a large navel orange all over with a fork and then microwave it for 45 seconds. Carefully slip this hot, steaming orange into the cavity of the bird. Tuck the legs of the bird into the flap of skin at the top of the cavity. Place turkey in preheated oven.
Baste the bird one time after 40 minutes; if there are no juices yet, use olive oil. Rotate the bird for even browning halfway through cooking. The bird will be done when a thermometer inserted in the leg joint, but not touching the bone, reads 165 degrees F. A good rule of thumb is 15 minutes per pound for an unstuffed bird, 20 minutes per pound stuffed. Remove turkey from oven, place on a large platter, cover loosely with foil and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Drain pan drippings into a bowl to use for gravy.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Henry's Farmers Market. All rights reserved.
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