Presented by: Executive Chef Jose Perez
- 12 cups water, divided
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sage
- 2 tablespoons thyme
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 4 cups ice
Bring 4 cups of water to a simmering boil. Add salt and sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn off the heat. Stir in 8 cups cold water, apple cider vinegar, sage, thyme, pepper, and ice. The brine is ready to be used.
Using paper towels, pat the turkey dry. Completely submerge the turkey in the brine place in a large soup pot bigger than the bird and cover with a lid. Allow the turkey to marinate for 12 hours. Rinse turkey and pat dry before adding additional seasoning. Butterfly your turkey (instructions below) and oil in preparation for roasting. Cook turkey to a temperature of 165°F or above.
How to Butterfly your Bird:
When you butterfly your bird you're essentially flattening it so it cooks faster and more evenly. You can always ask your butcher to do this, but it's easy enough to do at home. For an eight- person dinner start with a 15-pound turkey -- it'll be enough to feed your guests and still have leftovers. You can buy a frozen turkey and let it thaw in the fridge for several days, but it's best to buy one fresh.
- Remove the turkey's neck and giblet bag from the cavity.
- Place the bird breast-side down on a large cutting board.
- Using sharp poultry shears, cut along both sides of the back bone from front to rear. Then carefully remove the turkey's back bone.
- Turn the bird over and press firmly on the breast with the heels of your hands until it cracks and flattens.
- Place the turkey, cavity side down, on a rack set in a large roasting pan. Cook the bird for 3 hours at 400°F, or until it register 165°F on a food thermometer.