Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To Brine or not to Brine

It is two days before Thanksgiving and want to try a new turkey recipe. I have been brining turkeys for the last 10 years and I thought I would do a practice turkey - a salted one. With the great prices on turkeys for Thanksgiving, I bought 4 turkeys, but could only fit 3 in the freezer, so 1 defrosted in the refrigerator and I needed to roast it.

The turkey came out moist, juicy and really tasty. And I did not have to mess with a brining solution or make room for a big container in my refrigerator. And it was so easy....see how I did it.

I researched several salted turkey recipes and found one that was simple and easy...Clementine Salted Turkey. Because I did not have Clementines, but have a tangerine tree going crazy with fruit, I decided to use the tangerines instead. I also had a container of culinary lavender from Maui and ended up changing the recipe to incorporate products I had in my possession. And trying to keep it as local as possible.

Here is the salt rub recipe:
Chopped rind from a medium Wilhelmina Rise tangerine (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon of Maui grown culinary lavender
1 tablespoon of course ground black pepper
3/4 cup kosher salt

Mix in a bowl.

This recipe is for a 12 lb. turkey. Sprinkle tangerine/salt mixture all over the turkey, also in the cavity. Cover turkey with plastic wrap and refrigerate turkey overnight (24 hours).

Take the turkey out of the refrigerator and rinse thoroughly, also in the cavity. Coat the bottom of your roasting pan with extra virgin olive oil (2 tablespoons). Place the turkey in the roasting pan and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Let stand out for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

With a stick of butter that has been also sitting for 30 minutes, rub the turkey evenly. Cut 2 tangerines in half and stuff in turkey cavity. Tuck wings under and turn the turkey over to its breast side down, sprinkle turkey with pepper and ground sage, more salt is not necessary.

Roast turkey breast side down for an hour, then lower the heat to 350 degrees, turn turkey over breast side up and roast for another hour and a half. Baste the turkey once at this point.

The turkey is ready when your therometer reads 160 degrees in the thickest part of the turkey, usually the breast.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!!

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