Talking Turkey with Chef Anthony and WBZ’s Liam and Kate

Brining the Bird

If wet brining your bird, you will want to make sure you have enough space in your refrigerator to do so.  To create the brine:

  • Enough water to completely submerge the bird.
  • 1 – 2 cups of salt per gallon of water.
    • Table salt = 1 cup of salt per gallon of water.
    • Kosher salt = 1.5 – 2 cups of salt per gallon of water.
  • Add additional seasonings, herbs and aromatics as desired (peppercorn, bay leaf, thyme, garlic, lemon, herbs, sugar, etc.).
  • Completely submerge the turkey in brine mixture and refrigerate for as few as 8 hours, and no more than 18 hours.

Preparing the Bird

  • Remove turkey from refrigerator 30-45 minutes before cooking to allow the bird to dry and the temperature of the bird to slightly warm before placing into the oven.
  • Dispose of the brine.
  • Place the turkey on a cutting board or rack and dry completely with towels!  Drying the bird will allow for better color and crisping of the skin.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Stuff the cavity of the bird with aromatics as desired – such as lemon, onion, sage, thyme, rosemary, celery, carrot, etc.  These aromatics will steam and infuse flavor into the meat from the inside.
  • Tie the legs together.
  • Pat dry one last time before placing into the oven.

Cooking the Bird

  • Place turkey into a 450°F preheated oven.
  • Cook for 30 minutes at 450°F and then reduce heat to 350°F.
  • Estimate approximately 15 minutes a pound cooking time.
  • NOTE: Refrain from excessive basting – we recommend basting during the final hour of cooking only.  Excessive opening of the oven door releases valuable heat and inhibits the ability to maintain an even oven temperature.
  • Cook until the temperature in the thickest part of the breast reads 158°F – 160°F.
  • Remove the bird and let rest for at least 30 minutes on a cutting board – tented with aluminum foil.  This will allow for carry-over cooking with the internal temperature reaching a food safe 165°F degrees and allow the juices to be reabsorbed into the meat.

Carving the Bird

To carve the bird, follow these steps for best results.

  1. Leave wings attached to bird, until last.  This will help to stabilize the bird.
  2. Remove legs; separate drumsticks from thigh.
  3. Remove bone from thigh.
  4. Remove breasts: cut along breast bone and remove entire breasts.  Slice against grain.
  5. Remove wings.
  6. Remove any remaining meat from carcass.
  7. Plate and serve.

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