Perfect Roast Turkey
4 cupskosher salt or 2 cups table salt
1turkey (12-14 lbs. gross weight), rinsed thoroughly, giblets, neck and tailpiece removed and reserved to make gravy
1 1⁄2medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 1⁄2medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2lemons, cut into quarters
5garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1stick of butter, melted
- Dissolve salt in 2 gallons of cold water in large stockpot or clean bucket.
- Add turkey and refrigerate or set in very cool (40°F or less) pot for 4-6 hours.
- Remove turkey from salt water and rinse both cavities and skin under cool running water for several minutes until all traces of salt are gone.
- Pat dry inside and out with paper towels.
- Place turkey on meat rack set over rimmed sheet pan.
- Place turkey in refrigerator, uncovered, and air-dry for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- The skin should be dry.
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 400°.
- Toss one-third of onion, carrot, celery, thyme, lemon and garlic with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
- Place this vegetable mixture into the body cavity of the turkey.
- Bring turkey legs together and perform a simple truss (tying of the two legs together).
- Scatter remaining vegetables and thyme over a shallow roasting pan.
- Pour 1 cup of water over vegetables.
- Set a V-rack in pan.
- Brush the entire breast side of turkey with half of remaining melted butter, then place turkey, breast side down on V-rack.
- Brush entire backside of turkey with remaining butter.
- Roast for 45 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven; baste with juices from pan.
- With wad of paper towel in each hand, turn turkey, breast side up.
- If liquid in pan has totally evaporated, add another 1/2 cup water.
- Return turkey to oven and roast for 15 minutes.
- Remove turkey from over for final time, baste; roast until breast registers about 165° and thigh registers 170-175° on an instant-read thermometer, 30-45 minutes.
- Remove turkey from pan and let it rest until ready to carve.
- Note: The salt brine keeps the turkey moist when roasting.
- Drying the skin in the refrigerator will ensure a crisp and golden skin.
- The vegetables and lemon will add aromatic flavors to the turkey, they are purely for flavor and not to be consumed.
- You may make stuffing separately and bake in a casserole.
- If the color of the turkey gets too dark, place a piece of foil on the turkey to keep it from browning further.