This delicious turkey is brined and brushed with a fresh herb butter for extra juiciness.
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I would probably use veal stock and some water (depending on how concentrated/strong in flavor your veal stock is). Maybe 1.5 cups veal stock and 1.5 cups water. If you use 3 cups water with the chicken stock you have, it might dilute the flavor too much and this gravy is to die for! Veal stock will change the flavor a bit, but it'll still be great. Cheers!
I am doing my first turkey for christmas dinner this year and am going to attempt a Brine before hand. My wife already bought the turkey and its says it's a Grade A turkey, and in the freezer and is 8.00 kg.
I am going to thaw it in the fridge then brine it. Couple quesions.
1. How long will an 18lb Turkey take to fully thaw in a fridge at 38 deg F.
2. I was going to Brine it for a Day after this, then Air dry it for over the next night.
This would end up being about a 3 - 4 day process. Are there any food safety issues to be concerned with if I am storing the Turkey in the Fridge?
3. Should I temper it for about an hour at room temperature before seasoning and placing in the oven?
4. Any ideas on cooking times for a bird like this that has been brined?
Thanks again and wish me luck!
Please refer to the detailed notes at the bottom of the text recipe. Plan for about 5 hours of thawing time in the refrigerator for every pound of turkey. Providing you use a cold brine and keep the turkey cold in the refrigerator at all times during brining and air-drying, it will be fine. And yes, follow the instructions in the video recipe and temper the turkey for about 1 hour prior to roasting to take a bit of the chill off.
It is very hard to say how long the turkey will take to cook as everyone's oven is different. Our 15 pound turkey took somewhere between 3 to 3.5 hours so yours might be a bit longer. Just make sure to properly test it according to the instructions in the video and you'll be fine. Happy turkey roasting & Merry Christmas! Cheers!
5 hours per pound is the norm. I would take your turkey out soon and start thawing it. At 18 pounds, yours will likely take 3.5 - 4 days or so. If it is still a tiny bit frozen when you go to brine it, the brine will help to thaw it as well. You will need to work backwards from when you want to serve dinner and figure out when to start brining. You don't have to panic once the turkey has thawed to get it into the brine but you'll want to time it to be close. Don't worry. Take it out tonight and you'll be okay. Cheers!
I'm trying this recipe for Christmas, i'm a little nervous because is a huge piece of meat!
I have some questions:
1. One of the notes say: "A thawed turkey can be kept in the fridge for up to two days before cooking".
I have a 15 pounds turkey. 2 days ago was ready thawing. I'm planning on brining it tomorrow, is that all right?
2. I would also like to know if it is possible to roast the turkey the day before Christmas, would it be and taste the same?
3. I can't find cranberries where i live, can i use some other fruit?
Answers to your questions:
1. Yes.. this is absolutely fine... even a few more days would be fine (think of how long they sit in the store. But fresher is better.
2. I would not recommend cooking the turkey the day before. I know it's a bit nerve-wracking if this is your first time but try to give yourself some extra time and remember, when it's cooked, it doesn't have to be served right away (in fact it shouldn't be served right away - it should rest).
It can rest, covered with foil, for 30 minutes to an hour (or more) no problem. Just let the turkey rest uncovered for five minutes before covering with foil (vented) to stop the cooking process. I remember my grandmother cooking the turkey every year and wrapping it in foil, then driving 45 mins to our house. Then the turkey sat in our warm oven for another hour... and it was perfect every time. Just cook it to 160 degrees or as shown in the video.
3. Just use canned cranberry sauce (not jelly). Everyone will love it.
Hi Joe, thank you for the answers. I just finish the brine :)
I have to let you know that i haven't being able to find the cranberries or canned cranberry sauce! Here there is only cranberry juice. What can i do? I haven't try this fruit before, so i don't know what can work as a substitute.
Here are a few substitutes for cranberries. You might want to bookmark this site for future reference regarding food substitutions. Some may gasp from me saying this, but your dinner will be fine without it so don't stress if you can't find any. Many people forget to pull out the cranberry sauce before dinner anyway and realize it near the end of dinner! A properly cooked, juicy turkey will be delicious on its own. Cheers!
I really appreciate the Multi-Task Planner. It takes a lot of the guess out of preparing a turkey dinner for a crowd.
1. The lesson on Brining indicates the turkey should be air-dried in the fridge for 8 - 12 hours, however, this recipe only suggests resting at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting, with no mention of air-drying. Will the result still be a crispy skin?
2. When making the short stock, and for topping up the stock for the gravy, if necessary, will store bought, regular sodium, broth be suitable or will it make the gravy too salty?
This will be the first time I have tried brining a turkey and can hardly wait for the result.
Ive already made my gravy ahead of time using some homeade chicken stock using roasted chicken wings and vegetables, and have it frozend waiting to use it Christmas Day, where I was going to add in the drippings from the rested turkey and finish it off.
Was wondering if I need to should add some water in the bottom of the pan since I don't need to do the short stock now, to help prevent any of the drippings from burninng.
any suggestions would be appreciated.
One more question :)
After revieweing the how to brine exercise, it says to roughly use 30 grams of salt per litre of water needed for the brine.
In the recipe however, only 2 quarts of the total water is boiled with all the salt required and aromatics to make the steeped brine mixture.
My question is how to determine how much of the total water I need for the steeped brine mixture as opposed to the top up quantity if I need more or less than what is in the recipie. As well will the ice at the end not dilute the brine?
This was my first time ever cooking the Christmas turkey and it was excellent. I received a lot of compliments. The gravy was excellent and my mom used the stock to make her dressing and everyone told her it was the best dressing she ever made. My mom's dressing has always been excellent, so who knew it could be improved. I added fresh parsley instead of the Thyme (only because I didn't have any). I love all that I am learning from you guys. Thank you!!
It is just the different pigments in the meat. As long as the meat is fully cooked through, it is safe to consume.
Regarding the color of the skin, it's hard to say. Did you test the temperature of your oven with an oven thermometer? Making sure the turkey was patted dry very well (or even air-dried in the refrigerator) will help with browning the skin. Also, depending on how high/low the turkey was positioned in the oven, this can impact the browning. You might find the Enhancing a Basic Roast Chicken lesson helpful for some extra tips. Cheers!
Made the turkey exactly as you said. It was amazing! This was a trial run for Thanksgiving when family is here. Just one concern. Our family likes spicy everything. Not sure how to kick up the flavor a little. Cayenne or crushed red pepper maybe? Or hot sauce? Would I add it to the brine or at another stage? Would it alter the thyme, salt, onion ratios? Thanks.
You could try adding some chili flakes to a few things; however, keep in mind that some guests might not like spicy, or if they maybe expecting a "traditional" Thanksgiving. As for when and where to add spice, it really depends where you want to add the spiciness. Do you want everything to be spicy (not what I would recommend btw), or do you just want the turkey or the stuffing to be spicy? For the turkey, you could add it to the brine, but I am not sure that the turkey is the best thing to make spicy, IMO of course. You could easily make the stuffing spicy and a perhaps some of the sides. You could also serve chili flakes on the side for people to add as they like. You might also just try adding a bit more pepper to things. This is where personal preferences and experimenting to find what works for you comes into play. Hope that helps. Happy Thanksgiving. Cheers!
I am very impressed with the video on preparing roast turkey, especially seeing how much pan drippings/ short stock you have to make gravy. I'm used to reading recipes and preparing the Big Bird using higher roasting temperatures; starting at 500 degrees for 15 minutes and finishing off the bird at 450 degrees. Never had much in the way of pan drippings I admit but the theory in hot roasting was to seal in the juices. So now I have two questions: 1: Does roasting the bird at 350 steam the bird so that creates all the liquid? 2: Is there any value in flash roasting at 500 for 15 minutes to seal the meat? Thanks, Julie
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