Don't be intimidated by making a turkey for your friends and family this Thanksgiving. A few simple tricks are all you need.
Thaw your bird: Allow 24 hours in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds of turkey. (That means you should take your Porter Road turkey out of the freezer on Sunday so it's thawed and ready for brining on Wednesday night.) If you didn't leave enough time, your turkey can be thawed in cold water; allow 30 minutes for every pound.
Brine it overnight: Either wet or dry brine your bird for 12-24 hours. What's the difference? Wet brining gives the turkey the opportunity absorb extra moisture, along with salt and seasonings. Dry brining also seasons the meat, without adding moisture, and dries out the exterior leading to extra crispy skin. To dry brine, combine 3 parts kosher salt with 1 part sugar, add black pepper and dried herbs such as thyme and rosemary. Rub it all over the exterior of the turkey and leave it in the fridge uncovered overnight. Brush off excess seasoning before roasting.
Our wet brine recipe can be found below.
Roast: Preheat your oven to 500°F, and roast for 30 minutes to get a crisp outer layer. Then, drop your oven temperature to 350°F and cook until internal temp reaches 155°F, measuring the temperature of the thickest part of the thigh. Plan on ~20 minutes per pound.
Let it rest: Cover lightly in aluminum foil and allow your turkey to rest for 15-30 minutes before carving. As is rests, the internal temperature will rise to 165°F.
2 Gallons Warm Water
1 Cup Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup White or Brown Sugar
3 Bay Leaves
1 Bulb Garlic, Smashed
1 Handful Thyme
1 Tbsp Crush Red Pepper
1/4 Cup Black Peppercorns
Combine all ingredients, then wait for the water to fully cool.
Submerge your turkey, adding more water if necessary, and refrigerate. If you don't have a large enough vessel (or refrigerator) this can be done in a clean/lined bucket or sink. Be sure to add enough ice to keep the turkey cold overnight.
Remove your turkey, and dry thoroughly before roasting. Ideally, allow enough time for your turkey to be left uncovered in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours.