Brined Turkey

14-16 pound turkey (see note)
12 cups chicken broth (2 cups)
1 1/4 cups coarse salt or sea salt (1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons sage (1 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons rosemary (1 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons thyme (1 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons garlic powder (1/4 teaspoon)
12 cups ice water (2 cups)

It is best to use a fresh turkey (see note below). Ingredient amounts in parenthesis are for a 3-4 pound chicken.

Combine chicken broth, salt, sage, rosemary, thyme and garlic in sauce pot. Heat to dissolve salt. Cool to lukewarm. Fill 12 cup measure with ice cubes then with cold water. Add ice water to brine solution.

Remove giblets from turkey, wash and pat dry. Place turkey in roasting bag then place in a supporting container (roasting pan, large bowl, stock pot, food safe bucket, etc). Pour brine over turkey, being sure it gets inside cavity. Squeeze out excess air from roasting bag, secure tightly. Place turkey in refrigerator or a cold location, which is at least 40 F or lower for 12 to 24 hours (if turkey is left out of refrigerator the temperature of the location must be measured with a thermometer to ensure it is 40 F or lower to prevent food poisoning).

Remove turkey from brine and discard brine. Turkey may now be roasted according to preference (without cover, using a roasting bag, deep frying following manufacturers directions). For roasting with or without a roasting bag, place turkey in roasting pan, breast side up. Brush with melted butter. Roast at 325 F according to turkey package or following the timetable below. Turkey is done when meat thermometer reads 180 F in thigh, 165 F in stuffing, 170 F thickest part of breast.

Time Table for Roasting Turkey

Ready to Cook Weight   Unstuffed Turkey     Stuffed Turkey 
(3 to 4 pound Chicken) 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 hrs   
8 to 12 pounds         2 3/4 - 3 hrs        3 - 3 1/2 hrs 
12 to 14 pounds        3 - 3 3/4 hrs        3 1/2 - 4 hrs 
14 to 18 pounds        3 3/4 - 4 1/4 hrs    4 - 4 1/4 hrs 
18 to 20 pounds        4 1/4- 4 1/2 hrs   4 1/4- 4 3/4 hrs 
20 to 24 pounds        4 1/2 - 5 hrs      4 3/4- 5 1/4 hrs 

Basting: Baste turkey every 15 – 20 minutes the last half of roasting time using juices from bottom of roast pan (or with chicken broth). Create a nice brown picture perfect turkey by brushing turkey with 1/2 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet mixed with 1 tablespoon chicken broth during last hour of roasting. Continue to baste turkey as above.

NOTE: Fresh, non-basting turkey works best with this recipe. If fresh turkey is not available, look for a non-basting turkey or a turkey that does not have “added” juices and flavoring.

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