I have already waxed eloquent elsewhere about the glories of brining the turkey. I believe in it absolutely. Except there’s the small matter of the fact that when I brought my bucket in and started scrubbing it down to brine this Thanksgiving’s turkey, I found that it was dry rotted and it broke into many many pieces. One does not find a bucket for sale on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving at 9 o’clock. Earlier during Thanksgiving week I’d been watching Food Network’s Thanksgiving Live show where all the assorted Food Network hosts answered people’s Thanksgiving questions. I remembered that Rachel Ray and Bobby Flay were all about the butter. So with them in mind and taking Paula Deen as inspiration, I decided to slather mine in herb butter this year. And, um…yeah, it was awesome. Lookit…isn’t it pretty?
- 1 turkey or turkey breast
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1/2 tsp each parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, garlic powder
- fresh ground pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash you turkey and be sure to pull out the neck and giblets.
- Pat dry. This is very important so that the butter will actually adhere to the turkey instead of exclusively to your hands.
- Very carefully, you’ll want to slide your hand underneath the turkey skin. You don’t want to pull it off, just loosen it, so you can get stuff underneath.
- Rough chop the carrots, celery, and onion and shove them into the turkey cavity.
- Mix the herbs with the butter and rub all over the turkey on top of and beneath the skin.
- Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a pan and loosely tent with foil.
- Calculate your roasting time, approximately 15 minutes per pound. Take that total time and subtract half an hour.
- Roast the bird for that less half hour time with the foil, then remove for the final half hour of roasting.
- Forget that little pop up thing that comes in turkeys now. It will ensure that your turkey is overcooked. You’ll want to check the internal temp of the bird with a good meat thermometer in the thickest part of the leg. You’re shooting for 170 degrees.
- Allow to rest for a good fifteen to twenty minutes before carving so that the juices can redistribute.