After the cleaning step has been completed, the next step if your are
use it, is to brine. In this picture, we are brining a 16lb turkey in
a canner. To keep the turkey completely submerged, we filled a plastic
re-sealable bag with water, and then double bagged it. We have had it
happen before where the first bag developed a leak and empty all the
water into the brine. When
we checked on the turkey, it was floating. That's the reason for the
double bagging. After it has been brined for 8 hours, it is to be removed
and rinsed thoroughly under a thin stream of cold water, rubbing
gently to release the salt. Pat the food dry with a paper towel. Leave
out at room temperature for 1 hour to bring the temperature up. The
skin should be slightly tacky to the touch after it has had sufficient
time to dry.
With the breast side down, stuff the neck with stuffing and skewer the neck skin over to cover. Tuck the wings under as in the picture
Drizzle vegetable oil or melted butter over bottom of
bird and rub to cover all of the bottom. Season with dried sage, Cajun
seasoning and garlic powder.
Turn the turkey over with the breast side up.
Stuff the body cavity with stuffing, making sure not to stuff too
tightly. Tie the legs together. Some turkeys have been butchered
different than this picture. This particular bird has a flap that can
cover up the legs, but no skin flap to cover the stuffing. Use foil to
protect the stuffing from drying out too much. Use skewers where
necessary to keep things in place. Season the top like the bottom.
the first hour of cooking, it's time to start basting. This should be
done every half hour. Tip the roasting pan slightly to get all the
juice to flow to one end. With a turkey baste, suck up juice and
squirt all over the turkey. This will help keep the turkey moist. When
the turkey has turned a nice golden colour, loosely tent the turkey
with aluminum foil. This will prevent the turkey from getting too
dark. It will also slow down the cooking process.
Temperature and Doneness:
The turkey is almost cooked when the temperature in the breast and
a minimum 180*F for a stuffed turkey, 170*F for an unstuffed. Make
sure the stuffing has reached 165*F. Use an instant read thermometer
inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone to get
your reading. Remove from oven and place on cutting board. Tent again
with foil and let rest 20-30 minutes. This will allow the turkey to continue cooking
by itself and it will also redistribute the juices.
After the turkey has been removed from the roasting pan, empty the
drippings into a fat separator or a measuring cup. Let sit until the
fat separates from the drippings. Discard fat. It's best to use a fat separator
as the fat will remain in the separator as you pour out the brown
bits. For our recipe, we used...
|1/2-cup defatted turkey drippings
4-rounded tsp chicken stock mix
1/2-tsp garlic powder
1/2-tsp Cajun seasoning
1/2-tsp onion powder
1/2-tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
Heat the 1/2-cup of defatted drippings in the roaster
over medium heat
Mix all the other ingredients and the add to pan
Constantly stir and scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the
Reduce heat to medium low and continue to stir for 5-7 minutes until
thick and brown.
May need to add more water (or stock or potato water) if too thick.
Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly
This will make plenty for hot turkey sandwiches the next day!!!