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Turkey Revisted: Best Ever

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This past Turkey Day was the best. For the first time in decades all of my siblings and I celebrated together. We always have the best time. We tease, tell stories and joke until we are crying laughing. They mean the world to me. I am so thankful for my sisters.

I make the turkey for Thanksgiving every year. Should we have it any other time, I am sure I would be in charge then as well. Growing up turkey was dry and bland, and I was not a fan except as leftovers on a sandwich slathered in mayonnaise to moisten it up. So one year I had an idea, and it honestly makes the best turkey you will ever eat. I have given this recipe to everyone who has eaten my bird. So it is time to share with y’all, so you are ready next time a turkey is on the menu.

Be warned my sister’s call the slather “goop” and think the green color is off-putting and Gary leaves the room when prepping the bird because he finds my handling of the carcass to be a bit much. But they love the result and, that is all that matters.

And before the questioned is asked, Yes you should always brine your bird. Brining removes residual blood, adds moisture and subtlely flavors the meat.

Herb Slathered Turkey

Rick’s Herb Slathered Roast Turkey

Ingredients

Turkey*

Brine

1 1/2 gallons water
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 navel orange, quartered with the peel separated from the flesh (use both)
5 sprigs rosemary
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
3 yellow onions, quartered
1 full head of garlic, halved thru the middle of the cloves exposing flesh

Slather

2 sticks salted butter, soft
Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion, quartered
5 Garlic Cloves, large
2 3/4 ounce packet fresh Rosemary, leaves only remove all hard stems
2 3/4 ounce packet fresh Sage, leaves only remove fibrous stems
1 3/4 ounce packet fresh Thyme, leaves only, remove all hard stems

Additional Items

2 3/4 ounce packet fresh Rosemary, leaves only remove all hard stems
2 3/4 ounce packet fresh Sage, leaves only remove fibrous stems
1 3/4 ounce packet fresh Thyme, leaves only, remove all hard stems
Chicken Stock, reduced sodium

* We always roast a 20 lb turkey cause we want leftovers
** This is a total guess as I slowly pour directly from the bottle until the mixture is a paste.

Preparation

Prepare your grill or oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Prepare the brine by combining all the ingredients in the pot/container you plan to use for brining. (check to make sure the turkey fits, and there is room to completely cover it in the brine). Stir until sugar and salt have dissolved. Squeeze orange peels underwater to release oils from the rind. Set aside.

Remove turkey from packaging. Remove giblets from the cavity and save for stock or gravy. Thoroughly rinse the turkey including inside the cavity. Pat dry and then place the turkey in at the brining pot/container. Brine for at least 12 hours but no more than 24 hours.

Remove turkey from brining liquid and discard all of it. Rinse and pat dry. Then set on a roasting rack in the roasting pan with the breast side up.

Make slather sauce by placing the onion and garlic in your food processor and pulse until chopped. Add herbs and process until all is minced. Add the butter and cream together. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil allowing it to emulsify and blend into the creamy mixture. Continue adding oil until the slather is a paste.

Using your hands, work under the skin of the turkey to release the skin from the flesh. Be careful not to tear the skin as we need it intact. Losses skin on the breast area as well as the legs and thigh area.

Herb Slathered Turkey

Scoop out a handful of the slather and rub it under the skin and onto the flesh until the flesh is completely covered. Use remaining slather to cover the outer skin on the entire bird.

Herb Slathered Turkey

Using one of the two packs of “Additional Herbs” and slide under the skin. The remaining pack is to be placed in the cavity.

Pour approximately a 1/3 of an inch of chicken stock in the bottom of the roasting pan. Loosely tent the turkey with heavy duty foil.

Cooking

Place on your grill plate or in your oven and cook covered for all but the last hour. When there is an hour remaining in the cooking time, remove the cover. Using a squeeze bulb baster, at the halfway point begin to baste the turkey with the juices in the bottom of the pan. Slide baster under the skin and coat the turkey in its juices. Then baste on the outside of the skin as well. Because the juices can be hot you may need a heat-resistant glove or pot holder.

Cook until the thick portion of the turkey thigh reaches 165 degrees with your meat thermometer.

Once turkey is done, allow the turkey to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Turkey

Turkey

We use the  XL Big Green Egg to roast our turkey. Our 20-pound turkey cooked for 3 hours covered and 1 hour uncovered.

Download Printable Recipe Here: Rick’s Herb Slathered Turkey

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2 Comments

  1. wow, I absolutely love your marinade. Will surely try that on a turkey some sunny day.

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