Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

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ROAST TURKEY                                                                               Alton Brown

1 (14 -16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:

1 cup kosher salt
cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
tablespoon allspice berries
tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon iced water

For the aromatics:

1 red apple, sliced
onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves of sage
Canola oil

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5 gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.  

A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.  

Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine. Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil. Place rack on the lowest level of the oven and roast turkey at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14-16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving. 

Yield: 10 to 12 servings