The Brine (this step is optional but makes a big difference in increasing the overall flavor and moisture of the finished bird)
1 whole turkey
1 cup of salt
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 sliced lemons
2 1/2 gallons of very hot water
1 sanitized 5 gallon bucket or stock pot
Combine HOT water, sugar, and salt in your bucket or stock pot. Stir until ingredients are completely dissolved and allow it to cool completely. After cooled add 2 thin sliced lemons into the brine then you're ready for to dunk the turkey!
To prep the turkey remove the neck and gizzards and set it aside for gravy. Rinse turkey thoroughly including the cavity, then place the turkey in the bucket of brine head side down. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 12 hours.
turkey neck and gizzards
3 cups roughly chopped celery
3 cups roughly chopped onion
3 cups roughly chopped carrots
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 head of garlic crushed and peeled
1 bottle of crisp white wine
2 tablespoons of South of France
Combine on ingredients in the bottom of your roasting pan!
Let's Get that bird in the oven!
Preheat oven to 350 F
Cooking time 15 minutes per pound flipping the bird after 40% of cooking time!
1/4 cup of South of France (half a pouch)
1 Brined and rinsed turkey
Remove turkey from the brine and rinse thoroughly. Place wet turkey on a roasting rack over the gravy base you just made (its okay if the veggies are touching the bird). Rub the bird inside and out with South of France allowing any access rub to fall into the gravy base, the moisture from rinsing the turkey should help the spices to stick no need for oil or butter here.
Start with the turkey breast side down on the rack. Loosely cover turkey with foil and place in the oven on the second rack from the bottom (so that the base of the turkey pan in in the bottom third of the oven, this allows the wine in the gravy base to help cook the turkey evenly. It also should leave the top oven rack available for stuffing and green bean casserole.) Allow turkey to cook for 3 hours breast side down. After 3 hours flip the turkey to breast side up, throw another healthy pinch of South of France on it. If you would like to stuff the bird do so now! Recover with foil and return the turkey to the oven for additional 3-4 hours depending on the size of your turkey (10-13 pounds 3 hours 16-20 pounds 4 hours).
Remove turkey after cooking time is up and use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast to make sure turkey is at 165 F or higher before allowing it to rest. If the turkey isn't cooked enough or the skin isn't browned to your liking then put the bird back in the oven for 30 or so minutes uncovered. When the turkey is cooked enough remove turkey from the roasting pan and allow it to rest for 30 to 45 minutes for a juicy turkey. Now it's time for the gravy!
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
the magic juice! (strained from the gravy base)
After removing the turkey strain the juice from the turkey pan into a separate container and set the juice to the side. In a deep pan over medium low heat add butter and flour and whisk until the roux begins to bubble and flour and butter are well integrated. Stir in the turkey juice little by little until gravy gets to appropriate thickness (should thoroughly coat spoon) then reduce the heat to low and allow to stay warm until dinner is served. Salt and pepper to taste and serve!
This is our absolute favorite Turkey and Gravy!