Thanksgiving has come and gone but I think the few extra pounds we all added to our waistlines will be lingering! I don’t even care…they were worth very bite! I like to experiment with different types of brine and seasonings and this year I found a family favorite. Give it a try!
Brine (I had a 24 lb. turkey and used a 30 quart container for brining.)
- 28 cups (7 quarts) water
- 4 cups kosher salt
- fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, sage
- 8 clementines (quartered)
- Bring 1 lb. (4 sticks) butter to room temperature.
- Cut into large chunks and place in a mixing bowl (or kitchen aid mixer).
- Chop fresh herbs: rosemary, sage, thyme and add to butter (approx. 1/3 cup of each).
- Mix with electric mixer or kitchen aid mixer until ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Remove mixture from bowl and place onto wax or parchment paper.
- Smooth out into a log shape, roll, twist ends tightly, place in a zip lock bag and put into the freezer until solid. *This keeps well in the freezer for approx. 1 year and is great to keep on hand for everyday cooking.
- Remove the turkey from the packaging, remove the giblet bag and neck and drain excess liquid.
- Place turkey in container breast side down.
- Add water, salt and seasonings.
- Cover container with the lid and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Remove bird from liquid, drain, pat dry with paper towels and place in a large roasting pan. Make sure the turkey is on a rack to raise the bird off the base of the pan so the bottom dries. This year I placed a 12 cup muffin pan in the roaster to raise the turkey because it was so heavy.
- Stuff the turkey with your favorite stuffing mixture.
- Carefully detach the skin from the breast and place herb butter and chopped clementines under the skin.
- Cut 4-6 clementines, place in a chopper or food processor and pulse until the citrus is masticated but not mushy. Chop about half of the stick of herb butter into cubes and add some under the skin and place the rest on the bird (in the cavity, in between the legs, tuck in the wings).
- Season the outside of the bird with kosher salt, fresh rosemary, thyme and sage and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Add 2-3 cups of water the pan, cover tightly (tent) with tin foil and bake for 5 1/2 hours at 350 degrees (until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees).
- Baste periodically and remove the foil for the last hour of cooking.
The entire bird will be juicy especially the breast meat. The delicate citrus flavor of the clementine is beautiful and a perfect complement to the herbs. This citrus herb seasoning also pairs well with chicken and fish.