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The Butcher’s Wife’s Brine Recipe

Yields1 Serving

For the Brine
 1 cup kosher salt
 ½ cup light brown sugar
 1 gal vegetable stock
 1 tbsp black peppercorns
 1 gal heavily iced water
For the Aromatics
 1 lemon, cut into 6 sections
 1 orange, cut into 6 sections
 ½ onion, sliced
 4 sprigs rosemary
 6 leaves sage
 canola oil

36 hours before mealtime: Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, and peppercorns in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temp, and add the ice water.


Place the cleaned and thawed turkey in a clean cooler or 5-gallon bucket. Combine the brine, water, and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Pour the cooled brine over the turkey and add enough ice water to submerge the turkey by one inch. The Butcher's Wife tip: If it floats, put a plate and something heavy on top of it!
Brine the turkey for 24 hours. Make sure the brine stays ice cold.


The night before or the morning of, take the bird and cooler into a clean kitchen sink. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine. Place the bird on roasting rack and pat dry with paper towels.


Once patted dry, place the cut up aromatics inside of the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the bird and tie the drumsticks together with butcher twine. The Butcher's Wife tip: Ask the Butcher for a piece of twine - he'd be happy to give one to you!


Pour canola oil on top of the turkey and brush thoroughly to coat the bird liberally and evenly. Season heavily with 2 tbsp of Kosher Salt, 1 tbsp of freshly ground pepper, and 1 tbsp of dried poultry seasoning. The Butcher's Wife tip: Mix these together beforehand and sprinkle evenly over the turkey.


Put the turkey in the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn down the oven to 350. Stick the probe of the thermometer into the deepest part of the turkey thigh and set the thermometer to 161. Plan on about 13 minutes per pound. Take it out when it reaches 161 degrees and place a foil tent over turkey and let it rest for 20 minutes before removing the thermometer. If at any time the turkey gets too dark during the roasting process, cover with tinfoil to resist browning. Carve with an old school electric knife. Yep, that's right.