So I’m late to the party. All the other food bloggers made turkeys the week leading up to Thanksgiving. They took gorgeous pictures and tempted us with delicious recipes. All in the hopes of helping us decide how to make our turkey for the big day. Here I am posting my turkey recipe two weeks after thanksgiving.
I have a string of excuses- roasting two turkeys is expensive (one for the pre-thanksgiving post then one for the actual meal), I don’t have the time with Little, and I don’t even LIKE turkey so why would I make a whole one with no one but Nathan and me around to eat it. I have even contemplated not posting my recipe but have finally been persuaded by one simple fact: my turkey was SO good I want to write it down so next year I can remember what I did.
Perhaps I am really just very early to show you how you can make your Christmas turkey? Eh, who am I kidding. Just don’t judge me.
So here you go. A wonderful recipe for a juniper brined roasted turkey.
Juniper brined roasted turkey (serves 12+ depending on the size of your bird)
1/4 cup crushed juniper berries
2 crushed star anise
2 tbsp crushed pepper
1 lb salt
2 cups brown sugar
water and ice
14+ lb turkey
2 onions quartered
1 head of garlic cloves separated and smashed
Brine the turkey- bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add the spices, salt, and brown sugar. Stir till salt and sugar are dissolved. Allow to come to room temperature. Place your turkey in a bin large enough to be able to cover it with water. Add the brine to the bin with the turkey in it. Nearly cover with water then add ice till it is completely submerged. You might need to use a plate with weights (soup cans) to keep the turkey submerged. Allow to sit for 24 hrs topping with ice as necessary to keep it cold.
When you are ready to roast the turkey preheat the oven to 500 F. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. Place in a roasting pan. Coat all sides of the turkey with olive oil then salt (inside and out) liberally. Stuff the turkey with the quarted onions and garlic cloves. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Drop the temperature to 350 and bake till a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast reads 165 F (our 17 lb bird only took 1hr 45 min total to cook). Allow to rest for 30 min then carve.