ALTON BROWN’S ROAST TURKEY
For the brine:
1-1/2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 gallon water
1 6-ounce container of frozen orange juice concentrate
1 16-18-pound turkey
1 large pot
1 large cooler with lid
2 disposable aluminum roasting pans
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
To brine the turkey: dissolve the salt, sugar and juice concentration in 1
quart of hot water. Cool the solution with 3 quarts of cold water. Remove the
giblets (and any other foreign matter) from the turkey interior and place in
the cooler. Pour in the brine mixture to cover. If the bird is not completely
submerged, add more liquid. (Since I don’t want to weaken the solution,
I use canned broth.)
Cover with ice, close the lid and soak the turkey for 6-8 hours. (Exact soak
times will vary per your taste. Start with 6 hours and make changes to subsequent
When the bird has one half-hour left to soak, move the oven rack to the lowest
level and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the
turkey liberally with canola oil. (Be sure to get all the nooks and crannies
the wings.) Discard the brine and thoroughly wash the cooler.
Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside two disposable aluminum roasting
Roast at 500 degrees for a half-hour. Remove the bird from the oven
and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Cover the turkey breast with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum
foil folded into a triangle. Insert a probe thermometer into the
thickest part of the
breast (push it right through the foil) and set the thermometer
14- to 16-pound bird should arrive at the target temperature in
2 to 2-1/2 hours.
Remove the turkey from the oven, cover the bird and the pan loosely
with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
(Recipe from “I’m Just Here for the Food,” by Alton Brown;
Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $32.50)
Copyright Scripps Howard News Service 2003