Dry Brined-High Heat Turkey

serves 10-12


*Note-- the measurements of salt are different for each brand listed.  Morton's salt is denser that Diamond Crystal, so less is needed.  Any other kosher salt is not recommended.


1 fresh turkey (12-14 pounds), giblets and neck reserved for gravy, if using

Morton's Kosher Salt or Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt 

2 (1-gallon) bags filled with ice cubes or freezer packs placed in a separate bag


Trim the cavity of the turkey of excess fat. Carefully separate the turkey skin from the meat on the breast, legs, and thighs without breaking the skin. Sprinkle 4 1/2 teaspoons (Morton's) or 2 tablespoons (Diamond Crystal) salt inside the cavity. Rub 2 1/4 teaspoons salt (Morton's) or 1 tablespoon salt (Diamond Crystal) under the skin of each breast. Rub 1 teaspoon salt (Morton's) or 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (Diamond Crystal) under the skin of each leg. Wrap the turkey tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.


Remove the turkey from the refrigerator.  Unwrap and thoroughly rinse off excess salt between the meat, skin, and cavity.  Pat dry completely with paper towels.  Place 1 bag of ice or freeze pack on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Place the turkey breast side down on top of the ice.  Place the other bag in the neck cavity, making sure the ice only touches the breasts and not the thigh.  (Since the breast meat cooks faster than the white, icing the white meat ensures that the dark meat will be cooked through without the white meat being overdone).  Allow the turkey to rest on the ice for 60-90 minutes.  


Meanwhile, adjust the rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 500º F.  Place a wire V-rack inside a large heavy duty roasting pan.  Place the turkey (breast side up) on the V-rack.  Loosely tie the legs together with a piece of kitchen twine and cover the tops of the wings and legs with a small piece of aluminum foil to prevent burning.  Roast the turkey until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165º F on an instant read thermometer (the temperature will rise another 10 degrees while resting), about 1 hour 20 minutes for a 12-pound turkey and up to 2 hours for a 15-pound turkey.  After 30 minutes, check to see if the breast is browning too quickly.  If so, lay a large sheet of aluminum foil over the breast (do not wrap, just place).  Remove the foil about 30 minutes before the bird is done. Carefully drain any juices from the bird into the roasting pan; reserve the pan juices for gravy if using, and place the turkey onto a cutting board.  Cover the turkey lightly with aluminum foil and let rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.  Enjoy!


Printed from thegalleygourmet.net