We’ve found 8 holiday recipes to give your planning a head start

The best brined turkey recipe

Courtesy of Weelicious

Serves 8 – 10

best brined turkey
Image: Catherine McCord/Weelicious

Prep time: 1 day | Cook time: 2 hours | Total time: 1 day, 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salt (preferably kosher)
  • 1 (10 – 12 pound) unbrined turkey, defrosted
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

Directions:

  1. Place the sugar and salt in 4 cups of hot water. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve.
  2. Place the brine in a large stockpot with a gallon of cold water, cloves and bay leaves and a handful of ice to make sure the water stays cold. Stir to combine.
  3. Wash the turkey inside and out and place breast-side down in the stockpot with brine (you want the water to just cover the turkey).
  4. Refrigerate 18 to 24 hours (or set it in a cool, safe place outside as long as it’s below 55 degrees F outside).
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  6. Take the turkey out of the brine and rinse inside and out with cold water, discarding the brine.
  7. Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a wide, low pan and blot the turkey with a paper towel.
  8. Tuck back the wings and rub the skin of the turkey with the oil.
  9. Roast on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes and then place a piece of foil just over the breast of the turkey to cover (the breast cooks faster than the legs and wings, so this process helps it to cook more evenly).
  10. Pour 1 cup of water in the pan, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to roast for 1 hour.
  11. Remove the foil from the breast and cook another 15 to 30 minutes. Insert a meat thermometer into the deepest part of the thigh (avoiding the bone) to reach a temperature of 160 to 165 degrees. The turkey will actually continue to cook a little even after you take it out of the oven (the total cooking time in the oven will be 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours).
  12. Let the turkey rest for 20 to 30 minutes (this is an essential step to allow the juices to redistribute and settle).

So good!

Maple brined turkey recipe

Courtesy of Weelicious

Serves 10 – 12

maple brined turkey
Image: Catherine McCord/Weelicious

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 3 hours | Total time 3 hours, 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup salt (preferably kosher)
  • 1 (12 – 14 pound) unbrined turkey, defrosted
  • 1 orange, cut in half
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 10 cloves
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

Directions:

  1. Place the maple syrup and salt in 4 cups of hot water. Stir until the salt dissolves.
  2. Place the maple syrup mixture in a large stockpot with a gallon of cold water, the juice of the orange, the orange halves themselves, the onion, cloves, peppercorns and star anise and stir to combine.
  3. Wash the turkey inside and out and place breast-side down in the stockpot with the brine (you want the brine to just cover the turkey).
  4. Refrigerate 18 hours to 2 days. (Or you can set it in a cool, safe place outdoors as long as it’s below 55 degrees F outside).
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  6. Take the turkey out of the brine and rinse inside and out with cold water, discarding the brine.
  7. Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a wide, low pan and blot the turkey with a paper towel.
  8. Tuck back the wings (or cover with small pieces of foil) and rub the skin of the turkey with the oil.
  9. Roast on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes and then place a piece of foil just over the breast of the turkey to cover (the breast cooks faster than the legs and wings, so this process helps it to cook more evenly).
  10. Pour 1 cup of water in the pan, reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to roast 1 hour.
  11. Remove the foil from the breast, turn the pan so the other side of the breast is toward the back of the oven (most of the oven’s heat comes from the back, so turning it prevents overcooking) and cook for another hour to 90 minutes. Insert a meat thermometer into the deepest part of the thigh (avoiding the bone) until you reach a temperature of 160 to 165 degrees. The turkey will actually continue to cook a bit more even after you take it out of the oven (the total cooking time in the oven will be 2-1/2 to 3 hours).
  12. Let the turkey rest for 20 to 30 minutes (this is an essential step to allow the juices to redistribute and settle).

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