Thanksgiving Live Roast Turkey

Total Time:
74 hr 50 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
72 hr
Cook:
2 hr 30 min

Yield:
10 to 12 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • For brining:
  • One 14- to 16-pound frozen natural, young turkey
  • 1 gallon vegetable broth, homemade or canned
  • 1 pound kosher salt
  • 1 pound dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 quart cold water
  • 5 pounds ice
  • For roasting:
  • 1 red apple, quartered
  • 1/2 onion, quartered
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 leaves fresh sage
  • Canola oil
Directions
  • Two to three days before roasting, thaw the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler at 38 degrees F, tops.

  • Combine the vegetable broth, salt, sugar, peppercorns, allspice and ginger in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat. Cool the brine to room temperature, then refrigerate.

  • The eve before roasting, combine the brine, cold water and ice in a cooler. Place the thawed turkey (guts, neck and whatnot removed) breast-side down in the brine. Seal up the cooler and use it as an ottoman. Target brine time: 12 hours; flip the bird once about halfway through.

  • Roasting day: Heat the oven to 500 degrees F.

  • Remove the bird from the brine and rinse inside and out. Discard the brine.

  • Place the bird on a roasting rack and place the rack inside a roasting pan. Pat the bird dry inside and out with paper towels. Allow the bird to sit at room temperature for at least an hour.

  • Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Drain and add to the turkey's cavity, along with the rosemary and sage. Truss, if you like.

  • Lightly coat the bird with canola oil. Tuck the wings. Roast the bird on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes.

  • Insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

  • Roast until the thermometer registers 155 degrees F, about 2 1/2 hours.

  • Remove the bird from the oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.


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    This recipe is featured in:

    Thanksgiving Entertaining