This year was my first year hosting Thanksgiving and my first time cooking a turkey! I was a little bit nervous about the Thanksgiving Turkey but it ended up being the best turkey I have ever eaten. It was so tender we didn’t even need to use a knife to carve it.
So when we first decided to host Thanksgiving I called my grandma to get all of the recipes I grew up with. She gave me 3 or 4 different recipes for turkeys she had made in the past. I ended up doing a combination of the recipes she gave me.
Today I want to share the recipe so you can try it and so I can make it again next year! Get all of the recipes on one page at the bottom of the post.
The Turkey Brine
Depending on the size of turkey you made need to double this recipe. Our turkey was 20 lbs and we ended up doubling the brine.
1 Gallon Water
1 Cup Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar
Heat until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Put the turkey in a large pot or 5-gallon bucket with the above mix.
1 Sliced onion
1 Sliced jalapeno ( I think next year I’m going to do 2 or 3 jalapenos)
12 crushed black peppercorns
Then add water until the turkey is covered by 1 inch. Let soak in brine overnight. (keep in the refrigerator).
Take turkey out of the brine, rinse well and pat dry with paper towel.
Set turkey aside.
The Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing
In a bowl stir together:
1 large onion, chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1 whole lemon, chopped with peel
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
Remove the neck, heart, and gizzard from the brined turkey if you haven’t already. Reserve these to cook with the turkey.
Divide the onion mixture between the main and neck cavities. Fold neck skin under and secure.
Take 1/2 c (1 stick) butter at room temperature. Coat the Whole turkey breast with butter and put the remaining butter inside the main cavity with the stuffing.
Now that the turkey is covered in butter sprinkle it with seasoning. (I mixed the seasoning a couple of days earlier and then just added the lemon peel right before seasoning the turkey.)
Combine in a small bowel:
1/3 cup and 1 Tbs Kosher Salt
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black pepper
2 bay leaves crumbled
1 heaping tsp lemon peel
If you have a mortar and pestle this works great to crush the herbs together. If you don’t have one just use a spoon and crush the herbs the best you can.
Baking the Turkey
Now that the turkey is seasoned put 1 stick of FROZEN butter under the skin at the high point of the turkey breast.
Put the turkey in an oven cooking bag with 2 cups of chicken/turkey stock. Seal the bag.
We cooked our turkey in an electric roaster oven, but you can do it in a regular oven. Start cooking the turkey at 350 fr 45 minutes then turn down to 325 until done.
When we carved the turkey it was so tender we didn’t even have to use a knife the meat came off the bones easily with a fork.
I hope you enjoy this turkey as much as we did. (Next year I’m going to retake the pictures with step by step photos.)
Get your Printable Recipe’s all on one page here.