Servings: twelve, with leftovers.
Brining the turkey and rubbing an intensely flavored butter under the skin before roasting guarantees a juicy bird.
Make Ahead Tips
The turkey must be brined and buttered a day ahead. You can make and refrigerate the butter up to 1 week ahead or freeze for 2 months. Bring to room temperature before preparing the turkey.
Because different brands of kosher salt have different densities, be sure to measure by weight. For example, 2-1/2 lb. of Morton brand salt is only about 4-1/2 cups.
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Made two of these for Thanksgiving this year. Everyone seemed to agree that this was the best turkey they'd ever had. Flavorful, moist, perfect. I loved that everything was done in advance (I made and froze the herb butter a week or two ahead) and that on the day of all that was required was putting the turkeys in the oven and making the gravy. Both turkeys were done much sooner the recipe indicated, so watch internal temp closely. Skin split on both turkeys, as previous reviewer noted, but I was serving sliced on a platter, so didn't matter. Will make again. (I don't think my family would take "no" for an answer on this one...) Thanks for a wonderful new family tradition!
Made this twice. I was unhappy both times. Though the juniper butter was flavorful, it broke the skin on my turkey (during cooking) on both occasions. It was a horrible presentation and frankly was not worth the effort or the expense. Sad to say that my neighbor's smoked butterball was 10 times butter than my all natural million dollar turkey with this brine. I would NOT make this again.
This was the juiciest turkey ever.... and we always get our turkey from the same farm. This method of brining was the easiest because it didn't require finding refrigerator space for all the liquid, nor did the bird become overly salty. The only problem I found with the recipe was the instruction to discard the neck and giblets.... why do that?I also liked that the turkey roasted for two hours undisturbed, in essence braising, giving the cook time to go out for a walk. After the browning time the skin was a lovely bronze (although patches from the butter mixture darkened some areas)
After today's successful test, I will make it again for Thanksgiving. Simple recipe that delivers an elegant turkey. White meat is pretty moist. Flavorings are not overwhelming even in the drippings. Recipe leaves out an IMPORTANT DETAIL: should the breast be up or down when roasting? I assumed that it should be up. Mr. Portale, would you like to comment? Thanks.
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