Many of you have been asking how to best prepare your Polyface pastured turkey. There are many ways of baking a turkey and if you have a favorite method, then just disregard this post and go with it. This is my favorite way to prepare a turkey.
This recipe was taken from the Joy of Cooking cookbook.
First, I like to brine my turkey. To brine means to soak the turkey in a salt water solution. It helps the bird to retain moisture during roasting and gives a little extra flavor.You will need:
- 1 Polyface turkey, 14-24 lbs (you can adjust the recipe for a smaller bird as necessary)
- 1 clean bucket or container large enough to immerse the whole bird
- 2 -3 lbs of salt (I use kosher salt, you can also use table salt)
- 2 -3 gallons of water
Basically you want a brine with 1 lb of salt for every gallon of water. Place the turkey into the bucket and pour the salt/water solution over it until it is completely immersed. Place in a very cool spot for about 4-6 hours. I usually cover mine with a wet cloth or weight the turkey down, it has a tendency to float.
After the soaking, remove the turkey from the salt water and rinse thoroughly, inside and out.
I usually throw a quartered onion into the cavity of the bird for baking. I also leave the legs tucked.
- 4-6 Tbsp butter, melted, plus more for basting later
Brush the turkey all over with the butter, then lay it breast side down on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Balls of foil are great for keeping it upright if you don’t have an official turkey roaster.
- 2/3 cup water
Pour water into the bottom of the roasting pan.
Bake at 325 degrees with the breast side down for about 2 hours, basting the legs and back at least twice with more butter.
Carefully turn the turkey so that the breast is up and continue baking until your thermometer reads 165 degrees – about 30-60 minutes more depending on the size of your turkey. Be sure to continue basting it with either more butter or the juices of the pan. (I found that my 14 lb bird was nearly done and just finished browning the skin at this point)
Note from Joy of Cooking: “If the turkey approaches doneness before the breast has browned, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees for the last 5-10 minutes of roasting.”
Remove the turkey to a serving platter and let stand for 20-40 minutes before carving.
Happy Thanksgiving! God’s blessings on you and your family.
PS. If you have a favorite turkey recipe to share, I would love to try it out and I’m sure other would too! Just drop me an email and let me know.