Most people could easily pass on the turkey and just stick with all the sides, probably because most Thanksgiving turkeys are dry and flavorless. So let’s change that! The secret to a moist and flavorful turkey is brining.
Brining produces a wonderfully succulent turkey — and the smartest, easiest way to do it is with a dry brine.
Dry brining helps a turkey retain its natural moisture without adding the excess liquid that comes with a wet brine.
It’s an extra step in the preparation but one that’s well worth it!
You’ll need to plan ahead as brining requires a minimum of 24 hours and probably best up to 72 hours. That means you’ll need to have a thawed turkey ready to go no later than the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
The dry brine is basically salt rubbed all over the turkey and then placed in the refrigerator for 24-72 hours uncovered.
This is what I do: For a 12 lb turkey combine 1/4 cup of Real Salt (my favorite salt in the world!) or a course salt along with 1 Tablespoon of baking powder (this causes the skin to crisp and brown a bit better) and 1 tsp. dried herbs (optional).
Pat your bird dry and then sprinkle it with the salt mixture using your fingers and holding them about 6-8 inches above to let the mixture coat the bird evenly, turning it over. Don’t forget the cavity. Rub some of the brine mixture inside the bird. Transfer the bird, breast side down onto a rack placed in a foil lined baking pan and refrigerate.
Note: you may not need all of the salt mixture.
When you’re ready to cook your bird, just take it out and pop it into the oven at 325 degrees for about 13-15 minutes per pound until it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees. (thermometer needs to be inserted in the middle of a thigh or breast). Then remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving.
THIS is the easiest way to make the most perfect turkey. Bon Appetite!
Be sure and look through the rest of my recipes on my site for ideas on gluten-free and paleo sides and desserts.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!