- 1-13 pound fresh turkey, cleaned * see note
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves (fresh or dry)
- 3 sprigs fresh herbs of your choosing
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- Salt and pepper
Today’s recipe is the star of the Thanksgiving table, the perfect roast turkey.
It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without everyones favorite bird. A roast chicken dinner is my favorite meal, so I make it a lot in the cooler weather and I have very specific steps I like to follow and I follow the same steps when I roast a turkey.
It all starts the day before the roasting of the turkey (or chicken), I like to brine my turkeys and chickens. Brining helps add moisture to the meat as well as flavor the meat so the bird is tasty throughout. Turkey can be on the dry side and brining really prevents it drying out in the roasting process. Depending on how long I have to prepare the meal, I like to brine about 24 hours in advance. If brining is not for you, or you just don’t have time or the space, you can skip this step. Depending on the size of your turkey (or chicken), you will need a large receptacle. For my 13 pound turkey, I used an 18 quart plastic container available at any restaurant supply store and lots of room in the fridge.