If there’s one dish I am most proud of, it’s my turkey for sure. It took years of research and testing for me to perfect the timing on this holiday bird. Sounds odd that I would dedicate so much time to one dish, but Thanksgiving is truly one of my favorite holidays, so I do not want to serve guests dry turkey.
For this particular turkey, I wanted to test out World Market’s brine. Brining is so important to ensure your turkey stays juicy and tender. When heating the brine in water, make sure you cook it long enough that the salt crystals disappear. You’ll know when that occurs because it will feel less gritty when you stir.
I also expedited the time required for chilling the brine by using less water to dissolve the brine and adding the amount of water required in the form of ice. Because you’ll have your turkey in a large container brining overnight, I suggest using a brining bag. This allows you to put ice around the bag to keep your bird chilled without diluting the brine itself. Both of these are great tricks for preparing a terrific bird.
My other must is aromatics. I can’t stress how important this is to “seasoning” your turkey. Steeping items like apples, onions and cinnamon sticks creates a perfuming effect that infuses any type of poultry with delicious flavors. These items go into the cavity of the bird.
The aromatics are then paired with sage and rosemary.
Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and coat the entire bird with olive oil. This helps the skin get crispy.
Into the oven it goes on a super high heat to seal in the juices. After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to finish roasting.
Make sure you let your turkey rest for approximately 20 minutes before carving. This let’s the juices redistribute and keeps the bird from becoming dry.
You can also add some white wine to the reserved juices in the bottom of your roasting pan to scrape up the particles. Transfer this to a saucepan and add the gravy packet that came with your turkey. Heat and whisk for the ultimate gravy.
So that’s my quick roasted turkey in a nutshell. I’ll recap the recipe below for easy reading. In case you’re curious about any of the ingredients and tools I used, I’m providing that too.
World Market Turkey Brine | Regency Brining Bag | Blue Enamel-on-Steel Roaster with Rack | Villa Blanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil | World Market Cinnamon Sticks | Cavit Pinot Grigio | Embossed Leaf Platter | White Gravy Boat | Porcelain Plates Sets with Space-Saving Racks | Carving Utensil Set with Olive Wood Handles
- 2 cups World Market Turkey Brine
- 12 lb turkey, thawed, innards removed and gravy package set aside
- 2 small Gala apples, halved
- 1/2 white onion, halved
- 1 head of garlic, top cut off to expose cloves
- 1 World Market Cinnamon Stick
- 2 sprigs sage
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- Villa Blanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 bottle Cavit Pinot Grigio
- In a pot, bring 1 gallon of water and turkey brine to a boil. Continue cooking until the salt crystals dissolve.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature; refrigerate until chilled. (See the blog post for an expedited method.)
- Put a brining bag into a large pot and place the turkey inside. Fill the pot with ice, making sure the ice stays on the exterior of the bag. Pour the brine over the turkey with another gallon of water, close the bag, cover with the pot lid and allow it to sit overnight. Make sure to continue adding ice to keep the turkey chilled. For best results, brine for at least 12 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- Remove the turkey from the brine and drain all the liquid. Place the turkey in a roaster on a rack.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, place the apples, onion, garlic and cinnamon stick. Fill with water until the tops of the ingredients are slightly covered. Microwave for 5 minutes to steep. Fill the turkey cavity with the steeped ingredients; do not include the liquid. Add the sage and rosemary to the cavity as well.
- Use a paper towel to pat the turkey dry. Drizzle the olive oil over the bird and use your hands to evenly coat the skin.
- Roast for 30 minutes; then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and roast for another hour. If the skin browns too quickly, tent the turkey with foil loosely.
- Remove the turkey from the oven and transfer it on the rack to a separate surface. Loosely tent with foil, and rest for 20 minutes.
- Pour approximately 1/2 - 3/4 cup pinot grigio into the roaster and use a whisk to remove the residual juices and particles from the bottom. Transfer the contents to a saucepan and add the gravy packet. Whisk on medium heat until thick and incorporated.
- Slice turkey, and serve with gravy.
I hope you and your family enjoy this turkey as much as I do! A special thank you to World Market for sponsoring this holiday recipe.