Turkey is low in fat, full of protein and a great low-cost option. When compared to other meats, turkey offers less calories and less fat for about the same amount of protein.
This lean source of protein is a good source of iron, B vitamins, zinc and selenium. Dark turkey meat is higher in iron than white meat, and is also a bit higher in fat. Turkey has a mild flavor which makes it a very versatile poultry, try using turkey in place of other meats.
Good Eats Roast Turkey
Makes 10-12 servings
- 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
For the brine:
- 1 cup kosher salt
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 gallon vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 ½ teaspoons allspice berries
- 1 ½ teaspoons chopped candied ginger
- 1 gallon heavily iced water
For the aromatics:
- 1 red apple, sliced
- ½ onion, sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup water
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 6 leaves sage
- Canola oil
Bring 2 to 3 days before roasting:
- Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
- Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.
Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:
- Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine.
- If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
- Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
- Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.
- Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F.
- A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting.
- Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.
Prep Time: 15 minutes – Inactive Time: 7 hours
Cook Time: 2 hours & 30 minutes – Total Time: 9 hours & 45 minutes