Last year we shared an article that included many of the recipes that we prepare at our own Thanksgiving meal, but not our Thanksgiving turkey. (see our Old World Garden Thanksgiving meal post here)

Thanksgiving turkey
Our Thanksgiving turkey ready to be taken out of the oven.

We also promised each and every one of you that this year we would provide the instructions on how we prepare our Thanksgiving Turkey.  After many years of trying, we have finally found the preparation technique that we have, and that we will continue to stick with, for countless years to come.

You see, there are many ways to prepare the main dish of our Thanksgiving meal, however, many of them require countless ingredients or specialized equipment. We like to keep things simple, because for us, simple means extraordinary! So you won’t find any hard to find ingredients in this recipe, nor will you need to go out a buy a special dish, fryer, or injector. The true key to our moist and delicious turkey is in the overnight brine.  We love the fact that we can prepare part of our meal a couple of days ahead or the evening before Thanksgiving, and the results are outstanding!

So here is to keeping it simple and delicious!

Moist and Tender Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Remove from bine, pat it dry and then release the skin to add the herb butter directly on the meat.
Remove from brine, pat it dry and then release the skin to add the herb butter directly on the meat.

Ingredients:
1 cup Kosher salt
1 cup of butter
4 teaspoons dried sage
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic

Instructions:

To make the brine:

  1. Boil 1 qt. water and add salt, stirring until dissolved. Add 2 qts. of cold water and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Prepare thawed turkey by removing neck, tail, and giblets and save for broth if you would like. Wash and pat dry.
  3. Lower turkey into a large pot/container (we use a food grade 5 gallon bucket). If whole turkey isn’t submerged, make more brine, cool, and add. Place in refrigerator and cover at least 12 hours.  *If you don’t have enough space in the refrigerator, add ice to the brine and ice frequently to keep cool.

To make the butter rub:

  1. In a food processor, add butter, sage, thyme, and garlic until smooth.  *You can also do this by hand and up to 4 days ahead of time – storing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

To prepare the turkey:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Lift turkey from brine, rinse, and pat dry.
  3. Set turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan making sure the entire turkey is in the pan.
  4. Slide your fingers between skin and flesh of turkey to make pockets of space at the breast, back, and leg areas.
  5. Using your fingers, slide about half of herb butter under skin in all the pockets.
  6. Rub remaining butter on the outer surface of the turkey.
  7. Place on a roasting rack, breast side up.
  8. Roast turkey, basting occasionally with pan drippings, until a meat thermometer inserted straight down through thickest part of breast to the bone registers 165 degrees, about 2 to 3 hours.

*Cook time varies with size of turkey and individual ovens – general timeframes are as follows: 8-12 lb turkey: 2 3/4-3 hours; 12-14 lb turkey: 3- 3 3/4 hours; 14-18 lb turkey: 3 3/4 -4 1/4 hours; 18-20 lb turkey: 4 1/4 -4 1/2 hours; 20-24 lb turkey: 4 1/2 -5 hours

Transfer turkey to a platter and tent with foil. Let rest in a warm place 15 to 30 minutes, then carve.

Enjoy!

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Mary and Jim

The Secret to a Moist and Tender Turkey

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Kosher salt
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 4 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic

Instructions

To make the brine

  1. Boil 1 qt. water and add salt, stirring until dissolved. Add 2 qts. of cold water and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Prepare thawed turkey by removing neck, tail, and giblets and save for broth if you would like. Wash and pat dry.
  3. Lower turkey into a large pot/container (we use a food grade 5 gallon bucket). If whole turkey isn't submerged, make more brine, cool, and add. Place in refrigerator and cover at least 12 hours. *If you don't have enough space in the refrigerator, add ice to the brine and ice frequently to keep cool.

To make the butter rub

  1. In a food processor, add butter, sage, thyme, and garlic until smooth. *You can also do this by hand and up to 4 days ahead of time - storing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

To prepare the turkey

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Lift turkey from brine, rinse, and pat dry.
  3. Set turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan making sure the entire turkey is in the pan.
  4. Slide your fingers between skin and flesh of turkey to make pockets of space at the breast, back, and leg areas.
  5. Using your fingers, slide about half of herb butter under skin in all the pockets.
  6. Rub remaining butter on the outer surface of the turkey.
  7. Place on a roasting rack, breast side up.
  8. Roast turkey, basting occasionally with pan drippings, until a meat thermometer inserted straight down through thickest part of breast to the bone registers 165 degrees, about 2 to 3 hours.
  9. *Cook time varies with size of turkey and individual ovens - general timeframes are as follows: 8-12 lb turkey: 2 3/4-3 hours; 12-14 lb turkey: 3- 3 3/4 hours; 14-18 lb turkey: 3 3/4 -4 1/4 hours; 18-20 lb turkey: 4 1/4 -4 1/2 hours; 20-24 lb turkey: 4 1/2 -5 hours

Recipe Notes

Transfer turkey to a platter and tent with foil. Let rest in a warm place 15 to 30 minutes, then carve.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

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