Thanksgiving TurkeyJun 23, 2017 ● By Frisco STYLE
The Frisco Women’s League kindly donated this Thanksgiving meal to a Frisco Fire Station. The league is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting and enriching Frisco and its surrounding communities. Happy 10th anniversary, FWL! Visit friscowomensleague.org for more information.
Prep Time: 9 hours
Cook Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10 people
- 1 14-pound fresh turkey
- 1 cup(s) kosher salt or ½ c. table salt, more as needed
- 1/2 cup(s) sugar
- 1 gallon(s) plus 3 ¼ cups water more as needed
- 2 plastic turkey-sized oven bags
- 3 medium yellow onions cut into wedges
- 2 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 stalk(s) celery cut into 2-Inch pieces
- 12 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 head(s) garlic halved horizontally
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 1/2 cup(s) white wine
- 4 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter melted
- 3 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
- 3 cup(s) chicken stock
- Remove the neck and giblets from the body and neck cavities of the turkey. Store the neck and giblets separately in the refrigerator for making gravy. Remove and discard excess fat from the turkey and rinse the bird under cold running water.
- Combine kosher salt, sugar and water in a large bowl, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Put one plastic oven bag inside the other to create double thickness. Put the bag in a large roasting pan. Fold back the top one third of the bag to form a collar. Put the turkey inside the bag, unfold the top of the bag and pour the brine over the bird. Squeeze out the excess air and seal the bag tightly with a twist ties. Refrigerate for at least six hours. If you are short on time, double the amount of salt and sugar and refrigerate for four to six hours.
- Remove turkey from the brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water to remove salt. Pat dry inside and out. Let turkey stand at room temp. about 2 hours. (If time doesn’t permit, just add an additional 30 minutes to the roasting time).
- Position the rack in the lowest position of the oven and preheat to 400° F. If turkey has a plastic or metal hook in the tail area, insert the ends of the drumsticks into the hook. If not, tie drumsticks together with string.
- To secure the wings, twist the wing tip underneath the shoulder. You many need to break the wing joint to do this. If the wings won’t stay, tie them to the sides of the turkey with string.
- Season the body and neck cavities with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Fill with about one fourth of the onions, carrots and celery along with the thyme. Scatter the remaining onions, carrots and celery along with the garlic, bay leaf, neck and giblets in the bottom of the pan. Pour the wine and 3 cups of the water.
- Brush turkey breast with half of the melted butter. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Set a V-shaped rack in a large heavy-bottomed roasting pan. Place turkey, breast-side down, on the rack. Brush the backside with the remaining butter and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Roast one hour. Remove pan from oven. Using wads of paper towels to protect your hands, turn the bird breastside up. Baste with the pan juices and return to oven.
- After 30 minutes, baste the turkey again. If the liquid in the pan has evaporated, add more water as needed. Roast for 30 minutes more, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170° to 175° F. The meatiest part of the breast should register 165° F.
- Transfer the turkey to a cutting board or serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest until ready to carve, at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and the remaining ¼ cup water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve the cornstarch. Set aside. Place the roasting pan across two burners over medium-high heat. Add the stock and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Using a wooden spoon, mash garlic into the juices and stir. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables from the pan into a strainer set over a small saucepan. Pour the juices from the roasting pan over the vegetables and press firmly on them with the back of a spoon. Set the saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Cook until thickened, about one minute. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the gravy.