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Category: Mains

Basic wet-brined turkey

Basic wet-brined turkey
Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times

Thanksgiving is a holiday when we all eat together in a spirit of warmth, kindness and loving togetherness. Unless, of course, someone mentions brining a turkey. Or brings up the matter of mashed versus “smashed” potatoes. Then things can get ... Read more

Total time: 3 hours, plus 12 hours chilling | Serves 12 to 14
  • 2/3 cup salt
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 (12- to 16-pound) turkey

Step 1Combine the salt and water in a large pitcher and stir until the salt dissolves. Place the turkey in a pot just large enough to hold it and pour the saltwater over it. If the turkey is completely covered, don't worry about using all of the brine. Cover the top with foil and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight, turning 2 or 3 times to make sure the turkey is totally submerged.

Step 2Remove the turkey from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Return it to the pot and refrigerate it, uncovered, 6 hours or overnight to dry thoroughly.

Step 3Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the turkey on its side on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and roast 15 minutes. Turn the turkey to its other side and roast another 15 minutes. Finally turn it breast-side up and roast another 15 minutes.

Step 4Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the thickest part of the thigh registers 160 to 165 degrees, about 2 hours. Remove the turkey from the oven and set it aside 20 minutes before carving.

Each of 14 servings:
Calories 472; Protein 64 grams; Carbohydrates 0; Fiber 0; Fat 22 grams; Saturated fat 6 grams; Cholesterol 186 mg; Sugar 0; Sodium 762 mg
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