Friday, November 15, 2019

Perfectly Juicy - Brined Roasted Turkey with Giblet Pan Gravy

Brining and then roasting a turkey upside down is the perfect recipe for a juicy, flavorful, fool proof Thanksgiving Bird every time! 
If you've never cooked a Thanksgiving turkey, the whole process can be a bit intimidating, especially for a first timer. No worries though, because cooking a Thanksgiving turkey is not as stressful as you think. Today I'm sharing a step-by-step process that yields the most juicy and flavorful turkey every time.    

If you want a juicy bird that's big on flavor, try brining your turkey with your favorite turkey brine, seasoning with a dry rub and roasting it upside down. Cooking a turkey upside down ensures that the breast doesn't dry out. 

Also make sure to use a meat thermometer, especially if this is your first time cooking a turkey. Test the turkey by inserting the meat thermometer in the thickest part of thigh (without hitting the bone). When the temperature reads a minimum of 165 F, the turkey is ready to come out of the oven. 

After roasting the turkey should rest for at least 20 - 30 minutes before carving. Cover the turkey loosely with foil to keep warm. This is the perfect time to make the gravy!!! I have included a wonderful Giblet Pan Gravy recipe that uses the tasty turkey pan drippings. So without further ado, let's get started and cook a turkey!   

To start you will need to remove the packaging with the (neck, giblets and liver) from the inside of the turkey. Rinse the whole turkey thoroughly inside and out under cold running water. Set the turkey aside on a large platter and set the neck, giblets and liver aside as well (later you will use the neck, giblets and liver to make a flavorful broth for the gravy, so don't toss them out). 

Next you will need to brine the turkey (immersing the turkey in a seasoned - salt water solution)When it comes to turkey brines just go with your favorite recipe or purchase a store bought brine. My personal favorite brine is by Rodelle !!! Rodelle's Turkey Brine is filled with salt, sugar, garlic, cranberries, dried vanilla beans, apple peels, orange peels, bay leaves, black pepper, thyme, rosemary and sage. I get a large container at Costco for less than the price of a small one at most stores or online. Rodelles has the perfect combination of dried fruits and seasonings.  

To start the brine add the water and brine called for on the back of the brine bottle (according to your turkey size) into a large pot. 

Heat the brine mixture over medium-high heat just until the salt dissolves. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool. 

Add the turkey to a very large pot (I use my canner pot). Pour the brine over the turkey making sure to cover the entire turkey. Refrigerate the turkey for 10- 12 hours or place the pot with the turkey in a large cooler, add ice around the pot and cover.  After 12 hours, remove turkey from brine and rinse inside and out under cold running water until all the salt brine has been removed.  Cross the legs and tie them together loosely with kitchen twine to hold their shape. 

Place the turkey on a roasting rack and brush the entire breast side of the turkey with 2 tablespoon of melted butter. Add the dry rub seasoning mixture on the inside and outside of the turkey (rubbing it into the skin). Place turkey breast side down on the roasting rack.  Brush the back of the turkey with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Roast the turkey at 325 degrees (uncovered) breast side down for 1 1/2 hours. 

Remove pan from oven and close the oven door. Using clean hot pads or oven gloves, turn the turkey over so the breast side is facing up. If the water has evaporated add 1/2 - 1 cup more water. Tuck the wings under the bird and baste the turkey with pan juices, Return the turkey to the oven and continue roasting (covered with foil) for 1  1/2  - 2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees (on the thigh and 160-165 degrees for the breast) and the skin is golden brown. Remove the foil the last 30 minutes of cooking.  

Remove turkey from oven and remove from pan (reserving pan juices) and transfer to a platter. Cover turkey loosely with foil and let rest for 20 - 30 minutes before carving. Now it's time to make the gravy while the turkey rests.



Perfectly Juicy - Brined - Roasted Turkey with Giblet Pan Gravy

1 - 12 - 14 pound turkey, rinsed and patted dry inside and out
(giblets, neck, heart and liver removed)
1 - cup of your favorite turkey brine (I use Rodelle Gourmet Turkey Brine
4 - tablespoons melted butter
3 - medium onions, coarsely chopped, divided
2 - medium carrots, coarsely chopped, divided
2 - stalks of celery, coarsely chopped, divided
6 - fresh thyme springs, divided
1 - bay leaf

Dry Rub:
1 - teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 - teaspoons dried thyme
2 - teaspoons dried rosemary or use fresh rosemary sprigs
1 - teaspoon dried sage
1/2 - teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 - teaspoon onion powder

Giblet Pan Gravy:
Reserved pan juices from turkey
1 - cup low sodium chicken broth
3 - tablespoons cornstarch
about 4 - cups reserved giblet broth 
reserved chopped giblets and neck meat, optional
salt and pepper. to taste

Remove the inside packaging with the (neck, giblets and liver) and rinse the turkey thoroughly inside and out under cold running water. Set the neck, giblets and liver aside (later you will use the neck, giblets and liver to make a flavorful broth for the gravy, so don't toss them out)

Place the turkey in a large clean pot (large enough to hold the turkey, I use my canner pot). 
In a separate large pot add the water and brine called for on the back of the brine bottle. Heat the brine mixture over medium-high heat until the salt dissolves. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool. 

Add the turkey to a very large pot (I use my canner pot). Pour the brine over the turkey making sure to cover the entire turkey. Refrigerate the turkey for 10- 12 hours or place the pot with the turkey in a large cooler, add ice and around the pot and cover.  

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium- high heat. Add the neck and giblets (not the liver) and 1 onion (chopped). Saute until the giblets lose their raw coloring (about 5 minutes).  Reduce heat to low and add 1/3 of the chopped carrots and celery, saute an additional 5 minutes. Add 5 cups of water, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme and 1 bay leaf. 

Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer (uncovered) for 30 minutes to make a flavorful broth. Add liver to the broth the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Strain broth (about 4 cups) setting aside the neck and giblets. Let giblets and cool and pull the meat off the neck and chop the meat and giblets into small pieces and store in a zip lock bag. Refrigerate broth, neck meat and giblets (throw out the liver) until ready to use. 

After 12 hours, remove turkey from brine and rise inside and out under cold running water until all the salt brine has been removed.  Cross the legs and tie them together loosely with kitchen twine to hold their shape.  

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Add the chopped onions, carrots and celery (reserving 1/3 cup of each for the gravy) and half of thyme into a shallow roasting pan. Pour 1 cup water over veggies and add the roasting rack. 

Brush the entire breast side of the turkey with 2 tablespoon of melted butter. Add the dry rub seasoning mixture on the inside and outside of the turkey (rubbing it into the skin). Place turkey breast side down on the roasting rack.  Brush the back of the turkey with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Roast the turkey at 325 degrees (uncovered) breast side down for 1 1/2 hours. 

Remove pan from oven and close the oven door. Using clean hot pads or oven gloves, turn the turkey over so the breast side is facing up. If the water has evaporated add 1/2 - 1 cup more water. 

Tuck the wings under the bird and baste the turkey with pan juices, Return the turkey to the oven and continue roasting (covered with foil) for 1  1/2  - 2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 165 F degrees (on the thigh and 160-165 degrees for the breast) and the skin is golden brown. Remove the foil the last 30 minutes of cooking.  

Remove turkey from oven and remove from pan (reserving pan juices) and transfer to a platter. Cover turkey loosely with foil and let rest for 20 - 30 minutes before carving. While the turkey rests, prepare the gravy.  

To make the gravy:

Skim off any fat from the turkey pan juices. Remove the roasting rack and place the roasting pan over 2 burners on medium heat. Add 1 cup of chicken broth and using a wooden spoon, stir to loosen and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the roasting pan. 

Strain the contents of the roasting pan through a fine strainer and into a large saucepan. Remove giblet broth from refrigerator (reserving 1/2 cup) and add the broth to the saucepan.  

Mix the cornstarch into the 1/2 cup of reserved giblet broth and mix using a wire whisk. Gradually stir into pan juices/broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped giblets and turkey neck meat to the gravy or serve without

Keep the gravy warm until ready to serve. Pour the gravy into a gravy boat or bowl and serve along side turkey. 

source: The Perfect Recipe

I've also included a Turkey Thawing and Roasting Chart from (My Frugal Home) below, so you know when to pull that turkey out of the freezer to thaw and how long to roast your bird in the oven.




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