February 06, 2012

Salted Thanksgiving Turkey


Definitely the best turkey I've ever made. Salting is so much easier than brining. The result is a bird that is juicy and full of flavor, yet still meaty. Follow this recipe and you will not be disappointed at all. Enjoy!


Ingredients

1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds), giblets and neck reserved for gravy, if making
5 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

1. Using a wooden spoon and/or your hand, carefully separate turkey skin from meat on breast, legs, thighs, and back; avoid breaking skin. Rub 1 tablespoon salt evenly inside cavity of turkey, 1 tablespoon salt under skin of each breast half, and 1 teaspoon salt under skin of each leg. Wrap turkey tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 24 to 48 hours.


2. Remove turkey from refrigerator. Rinse off excess salt between meat and skin and in cavity, then pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Poke holes in the fat deposits in the shoulders and thighs. Rub a mixture of 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons baking powder over skin.


3. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line large V-rack with heavy-duty foil and use paring knife or skewer to poke 20 to 30 holes in foil. 


4. Tuck tips of drumsticks into skin at tail to secure and tuck wingtips behind back. Brush turkey breast with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set prepared V-rack in roasting pan; set turkey breast side down on V-rack; brush back and legs with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast for 2-2.5 hours until the breast reaches 130 degrees.


5. Remove roasting pan with turkey from oven (close oven door to retain oven heat); increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Using clean potholders or kitchen towels, rotate turkey breast side up; continue to roast until thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees and thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 45 minutes longer. Transfer turkey to carving board; let rest 30 minutes. Carve and serve.

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