It’s Beginning to Smell Like the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

I’ve been so busy trying to make sure I had the perfect turkey this Thanksgiving, I almost forget to share this recipe! I’m sorry if this is too late for your Thanksgiving festivities this year. For many years, the turkey was one of my lease favorite dishes at my Thanksgiving feast. It’s not that I don’t like turkey – it’s usually my go-to for sandwiches – but the Thanksgiving turkey is always dry. I always assumed it was just because of the meat, but realized that there is a trick to help make any size Thanksgiving turkey moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. So, what’s the secret to the perfect Thanksgiving turkey you ask – brining!

Ingredients (for a 14 – 17 lb. turkey):

  • 1 turkey, thawed
  • 6 pack of beer ( I used Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale)
  • About 5 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 8 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 medium-sized onions, halved
  • 3 cups ice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Cooking Directions (Preparation):

  1. In a large pot, add water, salt, garlic and onions and stir occasionally.
  2. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  3. Add beer and ice.
  4. Allow mixture to cool. (Tip: Put the covered pot outdoors for a bit to cool faster.)
  5. Rinse your turkey and remove the “giblet” bag from inside the cavity.
  6. Place your turkey in a large bucket and pour the brine over the turkey until it is covered.
  7. Brine for 12 – 18 hours.
  8. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well. (Tip: Don’t forget to rinse the inside as well!)
  9. Place the turkey in a pan with a rack and allow to dry for about 12 hours.

Now, it’s time to get your bird in the oven!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  2. Cover your turkey with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.
  3. Stuff your turkey with butter and rub some butter underneath the skin of the turkey.
  4. Get your oven bag out and sprinkle the flour on the inside of the bag.
  5. Put your turkey in the bag and seal.
  6. Place the bag in a roasting plan with 1 cup of water.
  7. Your turkey is done once the internal temperature reaches 160° Fahrenheit. (Tip: A 14 – 17 lb. turkey should take about 4 1/2 hours to cook.)

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