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Perfect Roast Turkey

We brined our turkey for 24 hours, so leave plenty of time for this recipe. If you don't brine yours, skip steps 1 and 2. Martha made this recipe on Cooking School episode 406.

  • Servings: 14
Perfect Roast Turkey

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2005

Ingredients

  • 3 cups coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), rinsed and patted dry, giblets and neck reserved for gravy
  • Gravy
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chestnut Stuffing
  • Crab apples, fresh rosemary sprigs, and fresh sage, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Put salt, sugar, onions, leeks, carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, peppercorns, and 10 cups water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, stirring until salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat; let brine cool completely.

  2. Add turkey, breast first, to the brine. Cover; refrigerate 24 hours. Remove from brine; pat dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Stir together melted butter and wine in a medium bowl. Fold a very large piece of cheesecloth into quarters so that it is large enough to cover breast and halfway down sides of turkey. Immerse cloth in butter mixture; let soak.

  4. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack set in a roasting pan. Fold wing tips under turkey. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey. Loosely fill body and neck cavities with stuffing. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Fold neck flap under; secure with toothpicks. Rub turkey all over with softened butter; season with salt and pepper.

  5. Remove cheesecloth from butter mixture, squeezing gently into bowl. Reserve butter mixture for brushing. Lay cheesecloth over turkey. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Roast 30 minutes. Brush cheesecloth and exposed turkey with butter mixture. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Roast, brushing every 30 minutes, 2 1/2 hours more; cover with foil if browning too quickly. If making gravy, add giblets and neck to pan 1 1/2 hours after reducing temperature; roast 30 minutes, and reserve.

  6. Discard cheesecloth; rotate pan. Baste turkey with pan juices. Roast, rotating pan halfway through, until skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees and stuffing reaches 165 degrees, about 1 hour. Transfer to a platter. Set pan with drippings aside for gravy. Let turkey stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes. Garnish, if desired.

Cook's Note

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking the turkey until the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees. For a moister bird, we cooked ours to 165 degrees; it will continue to cook outside the oven as it rests.

Reviews (111)

  • dava5722 23 Nov, 2014

    Brining is the best thing that ever happened to turkey. I have used this method since Martha's initial presentation with consistently excellent results. Dry the brined bird very, very well to insure a crisp golden skin. I completely submerge frozen bird in ice cold (ICE COLD) brine in an ice chest 7 days before Thanksgiving. I add ice daily to maintain a temperature of 35 - 40 degrees. Cavity is stuffed with onion, garlic, citrus and herbs. Perfect every time!

  • lgid 4 Nov, 2014

    Let me start this review by saying that I've never brined a turkey and probably never will. However (and that's a very large "but), I have used this recipe beginning at Step 3 for well over 15 years. Ever since I made my first Martha Stewart turkey, my family (who would rather have passed on the turkey) requests that I make this one. It's the best turkey ever. I also make Ina's cornbread stuffing. My gravy is Martha's using winter vegetables (lots of work but worth the effort).

  • Terri Bretch 30 Nov, 2013

    Alton Brown disagrees inasmuch as he brines the whole turkey, not just the breast. It turns out just fine brining the whole thing.

  • Cookies-Tea 1 Dec, 2012

    I used this recipe last Christmas on the first turkey I have ever cooked. I bought an 18 lb. turkey and followed the recipe to a "T". It turned out moist and delicious! My family has requested that I make it again this Christmas. The drippings make into a fantastic gravy too!

  • Christopher Fill 25 Nov, 2012

    My first time brining a turkey and it turned out superb! The recipe only calls for 10 cups of water because the only part of the turkey that is submerged is the breast (the water does not cover the entire bird). Remember to use a fresh turkey with no additives, the frozen birds often have salty injections in them. Also remember to use kosher salt (not table). I used a 14 pound bird and took the measurements down proportionately. It only took 2 hours and 45 minutes, but I did not stuff it.

  • Call of Kitchen Duty 1 23 Nov, 2012

    This was the first year for me to cook the turkey. I followed this recipe to a "T" and it turned out perfectly. Everyone helped themselves to seconds. That's the best compliment ever!!

  • aterosin 22 Nov, 2012

    Nov 2012: There must be missing ingredients to this recipe. I used the amount of water (10 c.) and it barely covered 1/4 of the bird (20 lb turkey). I checked another brined turkey recipe in Martha's 2007 magazine (p. 88) and it says 7 quarts of water + a bottle of wine. The bird is now covered up to the top of the legs.

  • Rachel Win 20 Nov, 2012

    This recipe has made me famous for the best turkey in the family. I have been making it for years now. I have modified it somewhat, though. I found the excessive amount of sugar impacted the flavor of the gravy, so I reduced the amount by about half. Otherwise, make as directed. It is WORTH clearing space in the fridge to brine the bird. Thanks, Martha!

  • caithirchman 18 Nov, 2012

    @CaliJordan: I never brined the turkey and it always turned out great. You can skip that step if you want and omit those ingredients. Also to everyone else, didn't the recipe used to call for a bottle of white wine?

  • CaliJordan 17 Nov, 2012

    help! i used this receipe a LONG time ago, but i don't remember brining and I'm not sure I have fridge space (tho love the garbage bag idea!). So- if I don't brine, do I use the brine ingredients as a rub for the turkey? (those that make sense), or just season it w/the usual salt, pepper, thyme, sage, etc, then use the butter & wine to baste? I remember this being amazing, but it's been 15 years since doing Thanksgiving so a bit rusty! Thank you for any tips & help!!! and Happy Thanksgiving!

  • WBolesNYC 14 Nov, 2012

    Hands down, this is the best turkey brine recipe ever. I have been using this for the past 6 years and I am now famous for my perfect turkey.

    Even my strict vegetarian friends eat this turkey, its that good!

  • WBolesNYC 14 Nov, 2012

    Hands down, this is the best turkey brine recipe ever. I have been using this for the past 6 years and I am now famous for my perfect turkey.

    Even my strict vegetarian friends eat this turkey, its that good!

  • mtyson71 26 Nov, 2011

    This is a fabulous and virtually fool-proof recipe. While brining isn't necessary it does make a big difference. I cut the salt in half but unfortunately usually double the wine and butter for basting (makes for even better gravy).

  • RobL 24 Nov, 2011

    I was hesitant in trying a new way to cook my turkey, but I have to say this method is awesome! I have never seen a more beautiful colored bird and the meat, even the breast, was soooo moist and delicious. I recommend this method to everyone.

  • Cellogirl26 19 Nov, 2011

    We LOVE this recipe --and we do NOT brine our turkey. It does make a big difference if I can get a HW turkey, but even if I can't, this recipe makes any turkey the best it can be, and it is not at all complicated if you skip the brining. I end up using the entire bottle of wine and just keep adding butter to keep the ratio right, and I add WS turkey gravy base to the gravy and it's the BEST turkey ever!

  • KimberlyBoat 18 Nov, 2011

    I have used this recipe for many years. I don't bine it because it becomes too salty and it really isn't necessary. (I used this recipe before brining was a fad.). I spent years looking for a roast turkey recipe that didn't come out dry and this is it - I promise.

  • OnTheGoMom 23 Apr, 2011

    Cut the salt in 1/2 and we LOVE LOVE this recipe! Have used it for 3 years and it is beautiful and gets raves every time. It's worth every minute of effort!

  • cheflizbeth 29 Nov, 2010

    This was my first time brining a turkey and this recipe was much too salty. I would recommend reducing the salt and brining time as well as rinsing the turkey thoroughly before cooking!

  • Doughboy2 25 Nov, 2010

    OMG, what a wonderful turkey. We just finished dinner and everyone raved over the turkey. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Dplaz 25 Nov, 2010

    This is my first time brining the turkey and it is sitting in a tightened garbage bag (didn't have a pot big enough) in the refrigerator. It is 23 lbs and I am not stuffing it. More cooking time because it's bigger? Or less cooking time because it's not stuffed?

  • Gigibell214 24 Nov, 2010

    @Mommyto1, I'm not Martha Stewart but I've been brining for years. I've read or watched so many cooking shows and thy all offer different times for brining. I have heard anywhere from 8hrs to 48hrs but 24 hours seems to be the norm. My 1st year brining, i had a 14lb bird and I brined it for 2.5 days. I have heard that you shouldn't brine that long because it starts to pickle (That's what Tyler Florence said). Well, that was the best turkey I had thus far;) Don't shorten your time.

  • vegasmama 24 Nov, 2010

    I'm not stuffing my bird. Do I need to 'sew' it together and/or adjust cooking time?

  • Mommyto1 24 Nov, 2010

    do i need to shorten the brine time for a smaller bird?

  • OakCliffDweller 23 Nov, 2010

    Excellent brine. For a bit more festive flavor, I added 5 cloves and 3 cinnamon sticks. It gave it a warm and spicy aroma. Can't wait until Christmas. Martha's Beef Wellington has become a family tradition.

  • Gigibell214 23 Nov, 2010

    @Melanie04. I am also making a 13 pound turkey and my brine is 1.5 cups of salt and 3/4 cups of sugar. Good Luck!!

  • Gigibell214 23 Nov, 2010

    @Chips51. I'm not Martha Stewart but I've been brining for years. You absolutely MUST rinse the turkey very well when your done brining to rinse off the bacteria. It won't reverse the brining process by rinsing it really well. Good luck to you:)

  • Gigibell214 23 Nov, 2010

    @Doughboy2, I'm not Martha Stewart but if you don't want to use wine, Apple Cider should be a great alternative.

  • Coloradan 23 Nov, 2010

    Help. I've cooked my 20 lb turkeys this way for several years. This year, I am cooking an 11 lb turkey. How long should I cook this smaller bird?

  • Doughboy2 23 Nov, 2010

    What non-alcoholic alternative to the white wine? Is apple juice okay?

  • Chips51 22 Nov, 2010

    Should the turkey be rinsed when removed from brine?

  • lovepeacefood 22 Nov, 2010

    I cooked my turkey this way last year and it was fabulous! I did add a little twist by using Emeril's brine as well.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/brined-and-roasted-tur...

  • melanie04 22 Nov, 2010

    I'm thinking of using this recipe this year - I've never brined a turkey (or anything for that matter)! I am only using a 12 lb turkey though. I know to only brine for 12 hours, but does anyone know if I need to reduce the amount of salt and other seasonings? I don't want my bird to turn out too salty! Thanks :)

  • vivianbradywebb 22 Nov, 2010

    I've never done the brine, but i have cooked this turkey this way for the Last 14 years, its the best, moist and beauitful. I make my dressing with the dripping and cornbread mixture, its my grandmothers. Thank You Martha!!!! MY FAMILY THANKS YOU!!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING...........

  • vivianbradywebb 22 Nov, 2010

    I've never done the brine, but i have cooked this turkey this way for the Last 14 years, its the best, moist and beauitful. I make my dressing with the dripping and cornbread mixture, its my grandmothers. Thank You Martha!!!! MY FAMILY THANKS YOU!!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING...........

  • bkalarid 19 Nov, 2010

    If you use a fresh, organic turkey will the brine make it too salty? I made this recipe last year and it was perfect but I used a frozen turkey.

  • bkalarid 19 Nov, 2010

    If you use a fresh, organic turkey will the brine make it too salty? I made this recipe last year and it was perfect but I used a frozen turkey.

  • peoplecallmemartha 16 Nov, 2010

    This will be the 6th year that I have made this turkey and it is out of this world! The butter mixture I have used is wine (I use Golden Bunches from Ferrante) and butter and I usually make twice the recipe to have plenty to baste with. the recipe tells you when to remove the cheescloth. It's towards the end. Make sure to keep it soaking, if not it will dry out and stick to the skin.

  • peoplecallmemartha 16 Nov, 2010

    To the person that said it was salty, did you use a fresh turkey that had never been brined? Frozen turkeys are typically already soaked in a salt water bath.

  • sacred 15 Nov, 2010

    What is the butter mixture you use to soak the cheese cloth? Also, is it white wine and does it matter which kind?

  • MessyJes 13 Nov, 2010

    I made this for my In-laws, the first Thanksgiving my husband and I were married. My Mother-in-law and my overly, critical sister-in-law (he he he) were both very impressed. All my sister-in-law kept saying, was that it was the PRETTIEST turkey she had ever seen. (It was the prettiest I had ever seen , too!) Since then, my husband and I have added 2 little boys to the family, and we can't imagine Thangiving without what we call, 'Martha's Turkey'! Thanks Martha.

  • bizinl 11 Nov, 2010

    What is the butter mixture you used to soak the cheese cloth? When do you remove the cheese cloth? I don't stuff my bird, I put it in a casserole, how long should I cook say a 20 lb. bird?

  • swethe 10 Nov, 2010

    I have cooked this turkey for 10 years and it always turns out great and not salty like someone else said. I love this recipe it is quick and tast great. Thank you Martha.

  • HealthyGirl247 2 Nov, 2010

    This was delicious. I add a golden roasted flax and chia blend to my stuffing called fitflax (http://www.fitflax.com) for added taste, fiber and texture. Fitflax is low cal and low carb and besides being yummy is loaded with fiber, Omega 3's and antioxidants.

    I also make my gravy without using butter.

  • MontrealCanada 2 Nov, 2010

    This was HORRIBLE! The meat was wet to the point of excess... it was WATERLOGGED! Also, EXTREMELY SALTY to the point of being INEDIBLE, not to mention a hypertensive crisis! This turkey was useless: the meat and stuffing were so extremely salty that threw the entire thing in the garbage. Against my better judgement I tried the showcase recipe for thanksgiving. A HUGE MISTAKE. The cheesecloth worked well so it looked great, too bad it will kill your guests with high blood pressure!

  • mishamichelle 20 Sep, 2010

    You don't have to baste it-if you want a great turkey Cook at 450 for 30 minutes turn down to 350-20pd turkey cooked to perfection in 3 hours do not open door-take out and let sit covered for an hour

  • mommeo 28 Nov, 2009

    After twenty years I tried something new the Martha Stewart cheesecloth turkey. It was fabulous. A beautiful golden brown and juicy. I was nervous about the short cooking time but it was the BEST

  • sewing123 28 Nov, 2009

    I never knew how dry my turkey was until I had this one!!! This is the BEST turkey I ever made and now, it is a family standard. Thanks Martha for never letting me down!!

  • luispadro 23 Nov, 2009

    Saludos a todos desde Puerto Rico. Quiero dejarles saber que la mejor receta del pavo es en fricas?ɬ

  • tiffanyannn 23 Nov, 2009

    I've never done the brine, but everything else Ive been using for 3 years now and every time I pull the beautiful turkey from the oven, my guest oooh and ahhhh.... and it tastes as good as it looks. Juiciest turkey ever!

  • Rose18 23 Nov, 2009

    When is the cheescloth removed?

  • zuibaam 19 Nov, 2009

    This looks really good! l love the plating food idea as well!
    There's several sites that I actually check out a lot for this thanksgiving.
    I found this site really helpful for thanksgiving menu.
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/thanksgiving-sides/package/index.html
    for turkey recipes
    http://www.cookturkey.net
    If you are thinking about frying your turkey, check out his post to learn what can go really wrong
    http://www.cookturkey.net/turkey-frying-tips/
    Lastly, if you want to see some great photos of fo

  • Hollistercobabe 12 Oct, 2009

    Can I use a smaller Turkey?

  • yuan11ggyahoo 21 Apr, 2009

    I like it, thank you!

  • jennyearle_mac_com 26 Dec, 2008

    I agree with the above comment. I brined the turkey, and it ruined my stuffing and gravy, and made the turkey so salty I almost couldn't eat it. I'd just recommend using only 1-2 cups salt, 1-2 cups sugar to 8 cups water.

  • debbyodonnell 9 Dec, 2008

    I love this recipie - but never did it with the brining step- until this year. WARNING:
    The directions incorrectly tell you to remove from brine and pat dry - -This is WRONG - You must rinse the bird in fresh water then dry - my gravy was ruined it was so salty you couldn't eat it!!!!!

  • debbyodonnell 9 Dec, 2008

    I love this recipie - but never did it with the brining step- until this year. WARNING:
    The directions incorrectly tell you to remove from brine and pat dry - -This is WRONG - You must rinse the bird in fresh water then dry - my gravy was ruined it was so salty you couldn't eat it!!!!!

  • debbyodonnell 9 Dec, 2008

    I love this recipie - but never did it with the brining step- until this year. WARNING:
    The directions incorrectly tell you to remove from brine and pat dry - -This is WRONG - You must rinse the bird in fresh water then dry - my gravy was ruined it was so salty you couldn't eat it!!!!!

  • debbyodonnell 9 Dec, 2008

    I love this recipie - but never did it with the brining step- until this year. WARNING:
    The directions incorrectly tell you to remove from brine and pat dry - -This is WRONG - You must rinse the bird in fresh water then dry - my gravy was ruined it was so salty you couldn't eat it!!!!!

  • debbyodonnell 9 Dec, 2008

    I love this recipie - but never did it with the brining step- until this year. WARNING:
    The directions incorrectly tell you to remove from brine and pat dry - -This is WRONG - You must rinse the birf in fresh water then dry - my gravy was ruined it was so salty you couldn't eat it!!!!!

  • coolbreeze 28 Nov, 2008

    It was fabulous, even the one who doesn't like turkey, loved it. Can I make it in a rotisserie?

  • Taelia 27 Nov, 2008

    Turkey was WAY too salty. Yesterday when I tried to see the comments they wouldn't come up...sure would have saved my turkey. Luckily the breast meat was juicy and tasty still and we only had four eating. The rest of the turkey was ruined.

  • hhennessy 27 Nov, 2008

    LittlePistol, the turkey needs to come to room temperature so that it will cook evenly and in the recommended amount of time. The two hours to do this will not cause it to become a bacteria breeding ground, if you left it out for longer then yes, it could be trouble. Although, if your turkey is smaller than 18-20lbs go ahead and adjust the amount of time down.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  • serendipi-Dee 26 Nov, 2008

    Make sure your bird is not "pre-brined" or it will taste overly salty.

  • LittlePistol 26 Nov, 2008

    Im confused why we leave it at room temperature for two hours, wouldn't it attract all sorts of bacteria?

  • pandapieters 26 Nov, 2008

    is this suppose to taste like pure salt!!!! and does it matter if the turkey is not completely covered in the brine... I don't have a large enough pot

  • kandicebest 26 Nov, 2008

    Rubybell thank you so very much:-)

  • RubyBell 26 Nov, 2008

    Kandicebest,
    A cheesecloth is a type of cloth used for cooking and (I think) making cheese, hence the name. I doubt you could make it yourself. ;-D
    It is found in the cooking gadget section of the grocery store or Walmart or Target. I have seen it recently with the other seasonal foods.
    It comes folded in a flat, 4x6ish size package. I think it is just a few dollars.
    Good luck!

  • kandicebest 25 Nov, 2008

    what is a cheesecloth and can i make this myself?

  • Stulange 25 Nov, 2008

    A butterball is just fine, just trust the brine and soak it it for at least ten hours , twenty four would be better.

  • kitsos 24 Nov, 2008

    I'm an American living in Thailand, and am about to make my first turkey. All they sell here are Butterball turkeys (unfortunately). Do you still need to put these in a brine? Any advice is appreciated!

  • shaundy_s 24 Nov, 2008

    ive found that by not covering the turkey, you get a moisture and better tasting bird. I have learned over the last 20 years that turkey is best cooked with no lid, no foil over it. Cheescloth works well, as the recipe calls for one above.

  • noubar 23 Nov, 2008

    A foil can be used yes, but do not cover the entire pan cover ONLY the turkey, you do not want steam cooking the turkey, steam will make your turkey DRY, just cover the turkey. :)

  • noubar 23 Nov, 2008

    A foil can be used yes, but do not cover the entire pan cover ONLY the turkey, you do not want steam cooking the turkey, steam will make your turkey DRY, just cover the turkey. :)

  • noubar 23 Nov, 2008

    thus it will give me a dark gravy...this is my taste, but if you want a white gravy just simmer the giblet without browning, and dont use any of the drippings (if they are dark in color). Have wonderful Thanksgiving

  • noubar 23 Nov, 2008

    A dark (brown) gravy is what you need, a white gravy is not very appealing to the eye! when i make my giblet stock i put the giblet with the veggies in the oven and brown them then make the stock to acheive a dark stock thus will give me

  • noubar 23 Nov, 2008

    Did you put all the drippings in a fat seperator and just used the fantastic juice? or you used the fat also to make the gravy? well, you should not use the fat (Butter) to the gravy, also dont use the liver to make the giblet stock that adds a weird taste to the gravy

  • klh5706 23 Nov, 2008

    Can foil be used instead of the cheesecloth to cover the turkey while roasting, as long as I baste?

  • MRM77 23 Nov, 2008

    I made this last year (my first turkey ever) and it turned out wonderfully! Very moist and delicious. The only thing I didn't like was the gravy. It tasted very greasy and was dark in color. Does anyone know why that might have happened? I brined this turkey according to the directions above and I'm wondering if that is why it tasted greasy. Any thoughts are welcomed.

  • chocolatierfan 23 Nov, 2008

    No lid is needed. Just watch the internal temperature of the turkey for doneness. It will continue to rise 10 degrees after you take it out.

  • katie2000 22 Nov, 2008

    Does anyone know if I have to use a turkey pan lid to cover the turkey while in the oven or only the cheesecloth on top would be enough? Thanks a lot.

  • katie2000 22 Nov, 2008

    Does anyone know if I have to use a turkey pan lid to cover the turkey while in the oven or only the cheesecloth on top would be enough? Thanks a lot.

  • chocolatierfan 22 Nov, 2008

    This is a dry brine, not wet. If you add liquid to make it a wet brine decrease the salt to total 1/2 cup per gallon of water or the turkey will be too salty.

  • NotOfThisPlace 22 Nov, 2008

    I am unsure what to "brine" in. I have an All Clad stockpot which woudl be big enough for the turkey- but is the metal ok? Any feedback welcomed!!

  • anniemick 21 Nov, 2008

    I used this recipe last year and I have to say it was THE most delicious turkey I've had in my entire life! (I'm 50!)
    My kids were amazed that I made such an awesome meal :)

  • katie2000 21 Nov, 2008

    also, doesn't the turkey become too salty with this brining method?
    Thanks for your help.

  • katie2000 21 Nov, 2008

    also, doesn't the turkey become too salty with this brining method?
    Thanks for your help.

  • katie2000 21 Nov, 2008

    Does anyone know if I have to use a turkey pan lid to cover the turkey while in the oven or only the cheesecloth on top would be enough? Thanks a lot.

  • hhennessy 17 Nov, 2008

    I have never brined the turkey and if I run out of the wine and butter mixture I just make more. The turkey has always turned out great. I just brush it on instead of using a baster. Oh and if you have dogs, put the cheesecloth in the trash outside away from the dogs...that cheesecloth is irrisistable to even the best trained dog.

  • youngmarthafan21 15 Nov, 2008

    could the brine for an 18-20 lb turkey work for a 12-14 lb turkey or would I have to adjust the ingredients?...need to make it right this time!! PLEASE HELP MARTHA OR ANYBODY!!!!!!

  • MABEL543 14 Nov, 2008

    Made this recipe several times (no brining). 1st time-a mess using baster-oven cooled too much ea. time (took WAY longer to cook)

  • jean06 13 Nov, 2008

    I have always been told not to leave poultry out for too long and 2 hours seems like a long time to leave uncooked turkey out. Is this safe to do?

  • LilCanoli 7 Nov, 2008

    I actually have a question with regard to the bottom of the turkey. For a few years I've cooked breast side up, but once the turkey was done, I could never have the bottom 100% cooked. The past two years I've started cooking the turkey bottom up for 1 hour, then breast side up for the remainder of the time. This helped, however, the bottom was still not 100% cooked. If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can get the bottom done I would greatly appreciate it.
    tdimella@optonline.net =)

  • cinnamon123 3 Nov, 2008

    what temperature should i use for a convection oven?
    thanks,
    cinnamon123

  • peoplecallmemartha 3 Nov, 2008

    This will be the fourth year that I have made this recipe. It is incredible! However, last year my cheesecloth stuck to the skin. I did everything that I had always done in the past. Anyone have any suggestions on why this might have happened so I can make sure it doesn't happen this year?

  • cjboyd59 5 Apr, 2008

    Would somebody with this recipe email to me. I had it and my computer crashed and for some reason I can't pull it up off the website. nboyd17@cox.net

  • AJluvsJoe 30 Nov, 2007

    I love this recipe. I used it for my first family holiday. It used to be the rumor that i couldn't boikl water. Now this turkey is my signature and even my Grandmother has asked for this recipe.

  • dkaluzny620 27 Nov, 2007

    This turkey was amazing. I probably quadrupled the amount of wine and butter I basted my turkey with. The amount in the recipe wasn't enough to keep the cheesecloth nice and moist. I will definitely make this again. I will try the brine for other recipes, too! Very good. Give it a try.

  • Mei-ling 22 Nov, 2007

    How long do I bake a fresh 12 lb. butterball turkey after rinsing and removing the neck and giblets? at 375F?

  • coloradokim 20 Nov, 2007

    Thanks for the advice, everyone! I will try the recipe in the link chefkimber posted. Sounds great and much more reasonable on the salt to water ratio. And I agree with MiDoan, I wonder if the chef every really tried what she created. :-)

  • coloradokim 20 Nov, 2007

    Thanks for the advice, everyone! I will try the recipe in the link chefkimber posted. Sounds great and much more reasonable on the salt to water ratio. And I agree with MiDoan, I wonder if the chef every really tried what she created. :-)

  • MiDoan 19 Nov, 2007

    I definitely agree with coloradokim. Once, I made this brine I figured out it was too salty, I poured it into the sink. Then I had to made another one with only 1/2 cup of salt, 1 cup of sugar, 1 gallon of water, and I had to taste to adjust the brine gradually. Sometimes I was wondering if the chef really cooked what she created!? ;-)

  • chefkimber 19 Nov, 2007

    Ok it won't let you click the link, but you can copy and paste the link and it comes up. Or you can search for Martha's Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu: Roasted Brined Turkey. It's the best ever recipe for a beautiful, delicious turkey!

  • chefkimber 19 Nov, 2007

    This is the recipe you want with the full bottle of wine. She did this on her show last Monday.... click here....http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.fc77a0dbc44dd1611...

  • coloradokim 18 Nov, 2007

    I made this 2 years ago, and the turkey was VERY salty. Last year I used the ratio in The Joy of Cooking (2 cups table salt or 4 cups kosher salt to 2 gallons water.)
    Does anyone have another suggestion? And what about wine? In the brine, or with the butter? And if in the brine, how much? Seems like 10 cups of water for the brine must be a typo .... that wouldn't cover a 20 lb turkey! But I check every year and the recipe never changes. ???

  • seekurdreams 18 Nov, 2007

    and I thought on the show she added the whole bottle of wine?? Am I missing a big part of the picture here?

  • seekurdreams 18 Nov, 2007

    ok I am confused. I thought you needed 7 quarts of water for the brine? When do I add the wine? Is there a seperate brine recipie for this particular turkey? I also saw ont he show she added the bottle of wine to the brine...HELP

  • MetricsMan 17 Nov, 2007

    yeah, pretty sure you can brine a frozen turkey once thawed.
    The rule of thumb for choosing a wine to cook with is to use wine that you'd actually drink. Don't get a super cheap bottle just b/c you know you'll be cooking with it.

  • jbahr 16 Nov, 2007

    Can you brine a frozen turkey that already has solutions injected?

  • mdlrn 15 Nov, 2007

    Does it matter what type or brand to use for the wine? I've never cooked with wine before. Thanks

  • KMBcooker 13 Nov, 2007

    I watched her show yesterday and she made this turkey. Instead of adding the wine to the melted butter she added the wine to the "brine" mixture I think I am going to add it to the brine mixture as well so the turkey will absorb more flavor. Also if you are not a big fan of chestnuts the past 3 years I have used her Cranberry Cornbread stuffing and its just out of this world!! So good. Just thought I would pass that on.
    Happy Holidays!

  • nananama 7 Nov, 2007

    I will use a more traditional stuffing

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