Thanksgiving dinner is a time for friends and family to come together to give thanks and enjoy a delicious, traditional meal in one sitting. While baking a turkey is a popular way to prepare the meal, this Thanksgiving staple can also be roasted for a unique yet satisfying preparation alternative. Here are a few steps to consider when attempting this method.
Items Needed to Start Cooking
Most turkey recipes are similar in nature, so using cooking utensils from holidays past can also be applied to roasting a turkey. The basic starting items for this process include a whole turkey (frozen or thawed), a turkey broth solution, and an aromatic flavor booster for added taste. Cheesecloth will be needed later in the process. These items can be purchased from any major supermarket or butcher. Finally, the turkey will need to sit in a cooking pan or corning wear while heating.
Ingredient Amounts and Cooking Suggestions
When starting the turkey, be sure that the bird is fully thawed prior to preparation. This step is important as to limit the risk of bacterial contamination when eating. For large families or meals, a fifteen pound turkey is suggested to account for the large serving size.
In preparing the brine or broth to baste the turkey with while cooking, combine the following in a large cooking bowl or stovetop pot: 1 cup salt, half cup brown sugar, 1 gallon vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 1.5 teaspoons allspice berries, 1.5 teaspoons chopped ginger, and 1 gallon of iced water. Additional spices may be added upon preference.
In terms of added flavor aromatics or boosters, consider the use of fresh fruits, cinnamon sticks, herbs such as sage or rosemary, and canola oil. These ingredients can be included in the turkey baste for an added flavor.
Cooking Instructions and Preparation
- Thaw the turkey completely (if not purchased fresh or de-thawed) by setting the bird in a refrigerator overnight. Never thaw a turkey at room temperature as this will allow bacteria to live and spread throughout the meat.
- Boil a large pot of the prepared turkey broth to be used for basting and added flavor. Stir as often as desired while the broth is boiling. Let the mixture boil for roughly 5 minutes before removing from heat and allowing it to return to room temperature. This process should be completed one day prior to the meal.
- Place the thawed turkey into a large cooking pot. Pour the broth mixture over the turkey, making sure to cover the entire bird. Place the pot in a refrigerator or a cool area and let sit overnight (or a minimum of 12 hours).
- Approximately 5 hours before the planned meal, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the turkey from the broth mixture. Pat the turkey with the cheesecloth in order to remove excess broth from the skin. Once complete, place the turkey in the oven and let roast for up to 30 minutes.
- Lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees for the remainder of the cooking process. The turkey should be ready to go after 2 – 2.5 hours of slow cooking.
After cooking, place the turkey on a cooling sheet or aluminum foil for 15 to 20 minutes prior to carving. When combined with other traditional favorites like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and vegetables, the roasted turkey is sure to be a hit this holiday season