Willards Kitchen Brined and Roasted Turkey
With Willards Kitchen All Purpose Seasoning
Makes 12-15 Servings
The Benefit of Brining:
The issue with turkey is that the white meat and the dark meat need different times to cook because the white meat contains a lot less fat. This means that the white meat needs more cooking time and because it has less fat to render the result is often dry and stringy. The salt solution causes the muscle fibers to swell, allowing the water to flow into the meat. Therefore, by brining the turkey you add moisture to the meat and make the bird more juicy overall.
For the Brine:
- 2 gallons water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup Willards Kitchen All Purpose Seasoning
- 2 lemons, sliced in half
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 cinnamon sticks (optional, but gives good holiday taste)
- 2 tablespoons cloves (optional, same reason)
Directions (Step by Step)
- Combine all brine ingredients in a container or pot large enough to hold the turkey. Make sure all the sugar and salt is dissolved. Add the turkey and refrigerate about 6 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove turkey from brine and transfer to a roasting pan with a rack. You can re-use the lemon halves, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks used in the brine by stuffing the turkey with them.
- Cook turkey for about 3 1/2 hours, basting every 40 minutes or so. If any part of the turkey gets too brown, shield with foil. When the turkey is done, juices should run clear from the breast and the legs should pull away from the bird easily, about 170-175 degrees at the thickest part (usually where the thigh meets the breast.)
- Remove from the heat and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.