Turkey Day

I have developed a habit of not posting my recipes until a month after I have made them, but it’s been so busy lately that I just can’t get a chance to work on it. Good thing this blog is just my virtual notebook and not my profession!

We delivered thanksgiving dinner to my grandparents’ apartment so I brined it to make sure that they turkey would be nice and moist since I had to pack and deliver it after cooking, and was afraid it would dry out (or fall on the floor). I used the Fire & Flavor brand brining kit, herb flavor. It was easy to use, and then I rinsed it all off after 13 hours of brining time. I ordered a fresh 13 lb turkey from Fresh Direct, and it was excellent.

In order to really keep the white meat juicy I roasted the turkey upside-down, well, breast side down anyway. I found the tip on simply recipes (see Mom’s Roast Turkey Recipe), and it was excellent advice! You won’t get a brown and crispy top but the breast meat is perfect and the skin over the dark meat is golden and crispy, so there is enough skin for those that like it.

My recipe:

  • 13 lb turkey, cleaned and brined
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • salt and pepper
  • chicken stock, 1-2 cups
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3 stalks celery, including leaves
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • fresh rosemary (4 sprigs)
  • fresh thyme (4 sprigs)


  1. Wash brine off of turkey and place turkey on roasting rack. Allow it come to room temperature for an hour. Keep neck aside and place in bottom of roasting pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  3. Place carrots, celery and 1 quartered onion and 1-2 cups of stock in bottom of pan (this will build a great base for gravy).
  4. Truss turkey , stuff with thyme, lemon and 1 quartered onion.
  5. Coat turkey in butter and season with salt and pepper.  Tuck rosemary sprigs between leg and breast and wing and breast. Place turkey breast side down on roasting rack.
  6. Put turkey in oven on lowest shelf, cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Lower oven to 325 F and roast for 2 hrs more.
  8. Take turkey out and flip it over so that the breast is facing up, and roast for 45 minutes more, or until breast reaches 160 F and thigh reaches 170.
  9. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil. Allow it to rest for 15-30 minutes before carving. While resting, use drippings to make gravy.

If you haven’t seen it, this carving video (Ray Venezia from Fairway Market, also available on the NYTimes.com website) was excellent. I was able to carve the turkey perfectly after watching the video the night before, it was so clear and easy to follow! There was enough to serve 10 people, and it was great! Wish I had taken a photo of the platter that I put on the table, it looked so good! We had a great time, too much fun to worry about documenting it! I did get one photo of the before shot (I forgot to mention that I sprinkled a little paprika on top too).


I also made mashed potatoes (5 lbs yukon gold potatoes, boiled, 1.5 sticks butter, 8 oz sour cream, salt, pepper) – not health food, but so good – with or without gravy.


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