Take Five Tips for the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey - 11/25/2013

11:41 AM, Nov 25, 2013   |    comments
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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey

Chef Steve Couch
JW Marriott Grand Rapids

Steve's Perfect Turkey Brine

6 Quarts Water
1 Pound Kosher Salt
11 oz Brown Sugar
1 Head Garlic, Cloves Peeled and Crushed
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
12 Sage leaves
1 Small Bunch Fresh Thyme
14-18 LB Turkey, innards removed

Ultimate Turkey Rub

2 cup mayonnaise
¼ Cup olive oil
2 T Garlic Powder
2 T Onion Powder
2 T Paprika
2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 T Ancho Chili Powder
2 Lemons, Zested
3 T Salt
2 T Black Pepper

In a medium pot, add 3 quarts of the water, the rosemary, sage, thyme and garlic, and bring to a boil. Place the kosher salt and brown sugar into a container large enough to hold the turkey and the brine. Slowly pour the boiling liquid over the salt and sugar; stir to blend all of the ingredients. Allow the herbs to steep in this brine for 10 minutes. Finally, add the remaining 3 quarts of cool water and the ice, and stir all of the ingredients together using a large spoon. Your brine is ready!

Submerge the turkey, breast side down, in the brine. Make sure the cavity of the bird fills with the liquid as you are submerging it. Place a lid on the container and refrigerate, allowing the bird to sit in the brine overnight or for about 12 hours.

Preheat your oven to 350F

Remove the bird from the brine and dry it thoroughly with thick, absorbent kitchen towels. Take care to wipe inside the cavity as well. Discard the brine. Place the turkey into a roasting pan fitted with a rack - or on a bed of hard root vegetables. Thoroughly combine mayonnaise, olive oil, spices, zest, salt and black pepper. Rub this mixture all over the turkey and, gently lifting the skin, directly onto the meat. This rub will add richness and a moist mouth-feel in your finished turkey.

Cover with a lid or foil and roast on the lower rack of the oven, basting with drippings about once every 40 minutes. After about 3 hours, remove the lid or foil, roasting further until the internal temperature of the turkey taken from the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer: about 3 1/2 hours total baking time. Remove the turkey from the oven to a cutting board or serving platter and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.


Roasted Heirloom Beets

Yield 7 Portions

10 Beets, washed
¼ C Canola Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350F

In a large bowl, toss the beats with the oil, salt, and pepper, and place onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for approximately 45 minutes, or until a small knife inserts easily into the beets. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Using a paper towel, remove the skin from the beets, and cut them into wedges. Set aside them aside until you are ready to serve. To serve, heat the beets in a pan over medium heat, tossing with butter or olive oil, and seasoning to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!





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