- 1 Our Fathers Farm free range delicious healthy turkey 🙂 (this also works with our chicken, just reduce ingredients)
- 1 bottle of sweet white wine (chardonnay is what we prefer)
- Bouquet of fresh herbs if you can acquire them: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (or dried)
- fresh garlic 4-6 cloves peeled and smashed to release flavor (I smash them with the end of a knife handle)
- 1-2 onions peeled and quartered (optional)
- 1 C kosher sea salt (i use Himalayan sea salt)
- 7 handful of rainbow peppercorns (or plain if you prefer)
- water, ice and a cooler
first dissolve salt in a small amount of warm water in a large stock pot as well as you can and add about 2 cups of ice to cool the water. Next add the peppercorns, fresh herbs (you can use dried if you like. about 6 Tb total), garlic and onion followed by the bottle of wine and cold water until pot is full. Place turkey breast side up in cooler. Pour your pot mixture over all and add ice and water until turkey is covered or nearly. Turn turkey around in mixture a few times to coat and let it rest breast side down in brine. I push the cooler to the “dark side of the deck” and check it at least one time daily to turn it around and add ice if needed.
On cooking day: remove turkey from brine to the kitchen sink (I discard brine under the deck). Rinse well and allow to dry. Melt 1-2 sticks of good quality butter and more wine and herbs and pour this over your turkey before cooking (if you desire… you can substitute with olive oil).
Suggested roasting times vary and recommendations are below. The most accurate measure is with a meat thermometer placed in the thickest “leg part” 180 degrees is recommended. I check for doneness by wiggling the leg and seeing if it’s loose and also by piercing at the thickest part and checking for clear juice not pink. You don’t want to overcook your turkey! We sometimes cook breast side down and then use silicon baking mits to grab and flip the turkey at the end to brown the breast and make crispy skin. This is a two man job :-).
Use the pan juices from your turkey. I use organic corn starch to thicken, but you can use organic flour. Here’s How:
1. First you make a slurry. For each cup of liquid you want to thicken, start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Add an equal amount of cold liquid and stir until a smooth paste forms. This is your slurry.
2. Whisk the slurry into the hot, simmering liquid that you want to thicken. Bring to a boil and simmer until any starchy taste has been cooked away. Don’t cook longer, though, as the starch may break down and the liquid will thin out again.
Roasting times are for a preheated 325 degrees F. oven.
Approximate Roasting Times for Stuffed Turkey:
Turkey Weight Hours
6 to 8 pounds 3 to 3-1/2 hours
8 to 12 pounds 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5-1/2 to 6 hours
20 to 24 pounds 6 to 6-1/2 hours
Approximate Roasting Times for Unstuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight Hours
6 to 8 pounds 2-1/2 to 3 hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 4 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4 to 5 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5 to 5-1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 5-1/2 to 6 hours
One musn’t forget this all important element of your farm raised healthy turkey! Save all of the bones 🙂 and skin and pan juices that didn’t get used or enjoyed. Put the bones in either the biggest stock pot you have or in a crock pot. Add 2 Tb raw apple cider vinegar with the mother or 1 C white wine, peppercorns, 2 Tb sea salt, garlic and onion (peeled and smashed if desired). Cover all with water and cook for 12-36 hours. Strain out bones (and if using a small crock pot repeat). This makes a nutrient dense broth that can be used for sauces, soups, stews or enjoyed straight out of a mug as is. I add my left over veggies: sweet potatoes, roasted pumpkin or potatoes etc and puree them to make a delicious creamy veggie soup.
Tell us how you enjoyed our turkey and recipe in the comments below!