Have you ever worked from the early morning hours, into the afternoon, preparing a Thanksgiving dinner only to suffer through dry, tough, turkey? Rest easy, friends. Those days are behind you.
My mother in law found this method of doing Thanksgiving turkey in her local newspaper a couple of years ago, and it was the best turkey any of us could remember having. It wasn't like any turkey I had tried before. It was moist and tender and flavorful. I have been doing it this way ever since. In fact, we like it so much that we now have roasted turkey several times a year.
The best part of this method is the 1-2 hour cooking time. That's right! Only an hour for smaller birds! No more setting your alarm clock to get up in time to get the bird in the oven.
What gives it the moisture that is missing from most of the Thanksgiving turkeys I have had in the past is 2 fold. First, it is soaked overnight in a brine, and second, it is roasted over a pan of water. Those two things in combination with the high heat and short cooking time will produce a bird you will be proud of.
Here you go, girls. I promise you won't go wrong with this recipe.
- Soak the bird for 6-8 hours (Overnight is fine.) in an ice chest of water with 2 cups of salt, 1 cup of brown sugar, and plenty of ice. Make sure the birds is submerged.
- Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.
- Rinse turkey and put on a rack in roasting pan.
- Stuff turkey with half an onion, some garlic cloves, and half an apple.
- Rub outside with butter. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside and out.
- Add one inch of water to bottom of pan.
- Roast for approximately 1-2 hrs. at 500 degrees (depending on the size of the bird).
- Cover turkey lightly with a foil tent if it becomes too brown.
- Check water and add more if needed.
- Remove when internal temperature reaches 161 degrees or when popper comes up.
- Be careful when you take it out. Remember, there is water in the bottom of the pan.
Mmmmmmmm...... I can almost taste it now!