Roasting your first Thanksgiving Turkey can be extremely intimidating. The first time I roasted mine, I was nervous for days! I did not want to ruin the most important part of Thanksgiving! The key to the perfect Turkey? Some TLC (Tender Loving Care). You have to brine it the day before. You have to get the Turkey out of the fridge a couple hours before Roasting it so it is at room temperature so it all cooks evenly. You have to stuff some butter under the skin, and you have to put it in a roasting bag. Sounds easy, right? Well, it actually isn’t so bad. Oh, and the most important thing? DON’T OVERCOOK IT. My rule of thumb… always check the temperature with a thermometer after 2 hours no matter what size the Turkey is. You’d be surprised, it is probably already cooked!
1 jar of Williams-Sonoma Garlic + Rosemary Brine Mix
1 brining bag
1 Turkey (ours was 12 lbs to feed 8 people).
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 head of garlic + 3 cloves of garlic
1 yellow onion
4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
Reynolds Oven Bag
salt and pepper
1. The day before you roast your Turkey: Bring 1 gallon of water and the brine mix to a boil. Stir and set aside until cool. Store in refrigerator until chilled. DO NOT PUT THE TURKEY IN WARM BRINE MIXTURE. You must wait for the brine mix to be chilled.
2. Take turkey out of packaging. Remove gizzards/neck and place in a ziplock bag (keep this for your gravy the next day!) Rinse the turkey thoroughly, inside and out of the cavity. Pat dry.
3. Once brine mixture is chilled, place cleaned turkey and the chilled brine in a brining bag.
4. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours. (I flipped my turkey over halfway through the brining process so that it would brine evenly).
5. Remove Turkey from the fridge about 1.5 hours prior to roasting it so that it gets to room temperture (this ensures that it cooks all the way through evenly). Take the turkey out of the brining bag. Rinse thoroughly with cold water to clean off all of the brining mix. Pat dry.
6. While the Turkey is reaching room temperature: 1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 2. In a small bowl mix together 2 softened sticks of butter, the zest of 1 lemon, and 3 cloves of minced garlic.
7. Using your hands, take your butter mixture and stuff it under the skin of the turkey and all over the top of the turkey . I always get a little scared that I am going to tear the turkey skin when I do that. If you feel the same way, watch this clever little video tutorial to help guide you.
8. To stuff the Turkey: Remove outer layer from one yellow onion, cut into fourths. Cut 4 lemons in half. Cut the top of a head of garlic. 4 sprigs of rosemary. Stuff into the cavity of the Turkey. Using kitchen twine to tie the legs together. Season the top of the turkey with salt and pepper.
9. Pour 1 tbsp. of flour into an oven bag. Shake it around. Place the turkey in the bag and close the bag with the tie that is found inside the package of the oven bag. Cut six 1/2-inch slits in the top of the bag to allow steam to escape. Place the Bag of turkey on a roasting pan.
10. Place in preheated oven and roast for about 2- 2 1/2 hours. When you stick a thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh it should read 160-180. No higher!
11. When cooked, remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes. Slice the Turkey and serve.