TIPS - Turkey breast is something that inherently gets overcooked. This is because the breast meat is done at a lower temp than the thigh meat, so it is essential to cover the breast with cheesecloth to slow its cooking down so that both meat areas are done at the same time. Turkey breast done correctly is moist and extremely tender.
Brine -The ration of salt to liquid is 1/2 cup of salt to 1 gallon of liquid. I had a 25 lb turkey and we made 2 gallons of brine. I used a large oven roasting bag inside of my largest stock pot to brine the turkey. It was not completely submerged, but the breast was which is the part I really wanted in the brine. I tried the bag in an ice chest, but the ice punctured it and made a mess. Not fun!
- 1 gallon Homemade chicken stock (Made ahead with sage, thyme, bay and celery)
- 1 gallon ice water
- 1 cup sea salt
- 1 cup apple juice
- Heat apple juice to boil and add salt
- Stir until salt is dissolved
- Combine stock and juice with salt in it and ice water
- Rinse Well and Remove Giblets and Neck
- Put turkey into bag and then into pot or preferred storage container.
- Pour on brine and seal it up and put it in the fridge or ice chest.
- Brine for 1 hour per lb.
- 1 cup of fat of your choice (Butter, lard, duck fat, ghee, tallow)
- 2 TBL of sage, rosemary, thyme chopped very fine
- Melt fat just barely and stir in the Herbs
- Cool until soft, but solidified
Turkey - Roasting
Ingredients and Tools:
- Rinsed Turkey
- Herbed Fat
- Twine, skewers
- Paper towels or rags
- Roasting Pan and rack
- Parchment and aluminum foil
- Preheat oven to 350
- Get roasting pan, rack, twine and skewers, turkey rub, paper towel or rags together
- Rinse the turkey off thoroughly and put dry inside and out
- Rub some of the herbed fat all inside the turkey
- Rub the herbed fat all over the outside of the turkey, liberally.
- Fold the wings back and if you have them, use skewers to seal the inner cavity up, and them tie the legs so that one is crossed over the other. This year my turkey was too big for his wings to fit in the pan folded back on themselves so I tied them together neatly on the side of the breast and secured them to the leg. I think I liked doing it that way better. You are trying to seal the turkey up and make him cook more evenly by trussing and tying. You can also stuff the cavity with apples, onion, celery or stuffing!
- Fold a cheesecloth over the breast of the turkey.
- If you are covering the turkey, put your lid on or lay a piece of parchment over the turkey and then tent him with a piece or two of foil.
- Put in the oven and go take a break!
- When the turkey is about an hour 1/2 from being done pull the cover off and pour some broth over the cheesecloth to gently remove it (carefully drizzle broth where it sticks).
- Put it back in the oven until dark golden brown and the internal temp of the thigh reaches 165.
- Pull it out and re-cover it loosely until ready to carve, at least for 30 minutes.