(re-posting for your Thanksgiving enjoyment!)
You see, most everyone who has tasted my holiday turkey agrees that it pretty much is the best thing going. So you'll have to take note now, as I will probably be mean and take it down before next Thanksgiving - because, frankly, I don't need the competition. You may find the following disturbing - but these are the waters. You have been warned.
^ I refuse to debate - so brine. I always buy the Williams-Sonoma Brine-of-the-year - it's my own holiday tradition and always just lovely - for $16. NOW: The Secret. That's right, get a tub of DUCK FAT. I heat the tub gently in warm water until it turns to liquid.
With a sturdy injector (again, Williams-Sonoma) start stickin'. At least three good doses in each side of the breast, and a couple in each thigh. It's awesome - the bird swells in a great way! It's just not right when you think about what you're doing - but go ahead. You will notice some fat seems to be collecting under the skin as the meat seeps - perfect. I had a split holiday this year, so I did a small 10-12lb bird this time - usually do a 20lb+. You'll end up with about half to 3/4 a tub IN the bird, then slather the rest on the outer skin. (I usually have two tubs, keeping one cool so the fat is solid for spreading on the skin.)
Now, I just follow Alton Brown's classic turkey roasting guidelines - I've tested others, his method is best.
^ Stuffed with aromatics (Apple, Onion, Cinnamon Stick, Rosemary & Sage).
Basically, you form a foil cap over the breast before you stick it in the oven - then remove it for the first step: Roast for 30 mins. at 500°. You'll then have this:
...good. Now put the foil cap back on the breast and back into the oven, (now at 350°) and roast until the internal temp of the thickest part of the breast reads 158° via a remote thermometer. NEVER open the oven door. Ever. Let it rest 15-30 mins under a foil tent, the bird will continue to cook and bring the internal temp up to 165°. The problem with most turkeys is that they are left in the oven far to long (those little red pop-up things go off at 180° - guaranteeing a terribly dry turkey).
^ And here we go - it's unreal. The moistest-est turkey ever. No lie.
Oh, I also like to make my own Jellied Cranberry Sauce - recipe on the bag, but I pass it through a chinois and get amazing results - even the haters agree! Have at it kids... and again - you were warned.