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Tbones Turkey

I've used this turkey recipe for years. Credit to Food Channel "Brined, Herb Roasted Turkey" with my modifications.

Based on a 12-pound turkey. Note below for larger birds. use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.

I've also used brining solution from the store in addition to the 1 cups or salt and brown sugar.


1 cup salt.

1 cup brown sugar

2 oranges, quartered

2 lemons, quartered

6 sprigs thyme

4 sprigs rosemary

1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey

1 large orange, cut into 1/8ths

1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/8ths

1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs thyme

Salt and pepper

2 sprigs rosemary

1/2 bunch sage

3 or 4 sprigs parsley

1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, for basting

For the Brine:

To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a nonreactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, food grade plastic storage bag). Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary. Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.

Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey and reserve for the gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water.

Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

I use the store-bought brine bags found at stores during Thanksgiving. Place the bag with the brine and bird in a cooler...if you have one large enough. If you can close the cooler cover; you can place it out on your deck or patio overnight. If you cannot close the cover, watch out for critters getting at the bird during the night. Another option is to put the bag of brine, and bird in your laundry tub. Regardless, you must keep it cold. be sure to keep it covered in ice.

Cooking Turkey:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. If you’re using your smoker preheat to 350 degrees. With a smoker, everything is pretty much the same: roasting pan, basting, etc.

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels both inside and out.

Place turkey, breast side up, in a rack, in a large, heavy roasting pan. Rub breast side with orange segments and rub on all sides with the butter, stuffing some underneath the skin. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, remaining orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string. I place extra herbs on top of the turkey.

Poor 1-2 cups turkey or chicken broth in the roasting pan. You can through the neck in there too.

Roast the turkey until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F. when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking time. About 12-14 minutes a pound.

If it starts to cook too much on top, place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the turkey.

Using a turkey baster, baste the turkey once every hour with the juice from the roasting pan.

Once it hits 165 degrees, (I check a few spots). remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

For the pan gravy:

Pour the reserved turkey pan juices into a glass-measuring cup and skim off the fat.

Place the roasting pan on 2 stovetop burners over medium heat add the pan juice and 1 cup turkey broth and the white wine to the pan, and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining 3 cup of broth and bring to a simmer, then transfer to a measuring cup. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux. Add the hot stock, whisking constantly, then simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Carving the turkey:

If you're not sure how to carve a turkey, Google it. What I do is first take off the legs. If it's cooked well, the legs should almost fall off with a little help from your sharp carving knife. Place the legs on the top part of your serving platter.

Then, I take off the entire breast. The breast is all most people want. I cut it into slices so that each piece has some skin on it. I like that better than slicing the traditional way. But you can also do one breast one way and the other the other way.

Layout the breast slices on your serving platter. Then go after the dark meat in the thighs and lay that out on the platter too.

Your done. Now get yourself a Scotch and sit back and let everyone do the rest.


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