Friday, November 18, 2011

Roasted Turkey...the Guam Firehouse Cook Way!!

Roasted Turkey    

We love roasted turkey. And we don't wait for the holidays in order to enjoy it either. Sometimes we will BBQ the turkey low and slow, especially on a Kettle grill which seems to work out perfect for this. So we wanted to share with everyone our recipe for cooking a delicious, moist and crispy turkey.

First things first...

It is very important to defrost the turkey in refrigerator until completely thawed. This may take 2 days or more.

Soak turkey in brine overnight in the refrigerator. Use a container large enough for the turkey and brine.

Recipe for Brine:
                           1 gallon water         
                           1-1/2  cups of kosher salt
                           2 cups of brown sugar
                           Stir until seasoning is dissolved

Adjust the brine to your individual taste. More salt, more brown sugar??

The brine ensures a very moist turkey as well as getting the seasoning to soak thoroughly into the meat, thus enhancing the flavor.

Next day take turkey out of the brine and allow to drain for about ½ hour in the refrigerator. The refrigerator will dry out the skin and will give the roasted turkey a crispier skin.

Rub bird down, inside and out, with olive oil or canola oil.

Apply a medium amount of Santa Maria rub. Make sure that you rub under the skin of the turkey in the breast area.

Recipe for Rub:
                           1 tablespoon sea salt
                           1 tablespoons granulated garlic powder
                           1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt
                           1 tablespoon of granulated onion power
                           1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, fine grind
                           1/4 teaspoon black pepper, medium grind
                           1/4 teaspoon Accent (MSG) - optional

Chop the parsley or crush it between your fingers to make it small enough to mix well with the other ingredients. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. If you need larger amounts, just double or triple the ingredient amounts.

Set turkey on a roasting rack inside the roasting pan (must have cover).

Use two packages of Lipton’s Onion Soup/Dip mix. Sprinkle one over the turkey. The other mix into 4 cups of water, minimum, and pour into the bottom of the roasting pan. You may need to add more water during cooking. Do not allow the water to completely evaporate while roasting.
Place one stick of butter into the cavity of the turkey.

Place one stick of butter, ½ stick to each side, into the water of the roasting pan.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Follow the cooking times for the turkey on the package.

Cook covered for half the recommended time and uncovered for the rest of the time. This will ensure a thoroughly cooked turkey that is also well browned.

Baste the turkey from time to time, while roasting, to get that shiny glaze on the skin. The butter in the water also helps crisp the skin.

Use a meat thermometer.

For a turkey with stuffing, insert meat thermometer into the center of the stuffing in the turkey cavity. The reading should be no less than 165 F.

For a turkey without stuffing, insert meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, not on the bone. The reading should be no less than 185 F.

Once you reach these temperatures, take the turkey out of the oven and let it rest for about ½ hour.

If the wing tips and drumstick tips or any other part of the turkey start to get too dark while roasting, cover those parts with tin foil to avoid burning.

Use the turkey drippings in the roasting pan for your gravy.

I hope you enjoy my roast turkey recipe.

Rueben Olivas

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