Dry Brined Roast Turkey
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 12
  • 1 8-12 lb turkey
  • Fresh Sage
  • Kosher Salt
  1. To prepare this turkey, 2-3 days before Thanksgiving, make sure your turkey is defrosted, if you're using a frozen one, and remove the giblets. Rinse and pat dry, both inside and out. Fold the wings under the body. Then use your fingers to create pockets between the skin and the meat on the breast and the thighs. Take sprigs of fresh sage and insert them into the pockets (this is optional, but I think sage is wonderful with turkey and is one of the quintessential Thanksgiving flavors).
  2. Then you take kosher salt and rub it into the turkey. Start with about 1 T of salt per every five pounds of turkey, but you can use more, particularly if you like things a little salty and you're not stuffing the turkey. I rub it into the underside first, then turn the turkey over and rub it into the breast side. Place the turkey on a cookie sheet (since there is some juice runoff, a sheet with a lip works best) and loosely tent with foil (you want good airflow). Then refrigerate for 2-3 days. (A 10 lb turkey was perfectly brined in just 2 days. A larger turkey might take 3. If you're reading this and it's the day before Thanksgiving, do it now. Just know that it won't be quite as delicious).
  3. When you're ready to roast the turkey, preheat the oven to 450. It's nice but not necessary to let the turkey come to room temperature. I tied the drumsticks together with kitchen twine because I think it makes a nicer table presentation, but it's not necessary. Then place the turkey in your roasting pan, and roast. An unstuffed turkey at 450 degrees will take about 8 minutes a pound, but the best way to measure is to have a thermometer in the thigh reach 160 degrees. I have a thermometer similar to this one that stays in the turkey during roasting and beeps when it reaches the preset temperature. This 10 lb turkey took about an hour and 20 minutes. (The USDA recommends 180 degrees, but salmonella is dead after 30 seconds at 160 degrees, and 180 is WAY overcooked.) (Note that this is for an unstuffed turkey. There are different rules about stuffing, which should be cooked to 160 degrees, which means the turkey will most likely be overdone).
Recipe by The Domestic Front at http://www.thedomesticfront.com/a-turkey-youll-want-to-gobble-dry-brined-roast-turkey/