Friday, November 25, 2011

Roast Turkey with Rosemary and Sage Salt Rub

Roast Turkey with Rosemary and Sage Salt Rub 1

Except for 2008, when I ordered a Chinese barbecued turkey to incorporate into my Asian-inspired Thanksgiving menu, the basic Salt Rub and Butter Turkey has been my staple recipe for years. And even though it has been good every single time, I wanted to change it up a notch.

Remembering the rosemary and sage salt sample I got from Woody's Gourmet on Day 145, I decided adding a bit of herbs to the salt sounded pretty delicious. The sample was only 1/2 teaspoon though. Way too little for a 15-lb turkey. So I added some more dried rosemary and sage from my spice cabinet into the salt rub. I didn't go overboard with the spices since I didn't want them to burn while the turkey was baking for so many hours. The result was the usual perfectly crispy skin and juicy turkey that the salt rub always produces with just a hint of rosemary and sage.

Way easier to make than the Rosemary Olive Oil Turkey Marinade I made back in 2005.

Roast Turkey with Rosemary and Sage Salt Rub 2

Roast Turkey with Rosemary and Sage Salt Rub
Adapted from my recipe for Salt Rub and Butter Turkey.

For a 15-lb turkey, you'll need:

You'll need:
1 turkey
1 tsp of kosher salt per lb of turkey
1 tsp dried rosemary per 5 lbs of turkey
1 tsp dried sage per 5 lbs of turkey
1 stick of unsalted butter

If you're starting with a frozen turkey, purchase it at least 2 to 3 days before you intend to cook it so that it has time to defrost in the refrigerator.

The night before you intend to cook it, wash the turkey thoroughly inside and out and let drain on a colander. Measure out 1 tsp of salt per pound of turkey and 1 tsp each of dried rosemary and dried sage per 5 lbs of turkey. Crush the rosemary into smaller bits if you'd like. Thoroughly massage the salt and herb mixture all over the outside and inside of the turkey, making sure to concentrate on the breast where most of the meat is located.

Place the turkey breast-side up in a shallow bowl or pan and cover with plastic wrap before placing in the fridge.

About 4 hours before you intend to serve the turkey, take it out of the fridge, drain, and brush off any excess salt. Turn your oven to 425 degrees to pre-heat. Then cut 1 stick of butter into slices and place the slices underneath the skin, adding more on the breast and between the thighs, as well as rubbing it all over the outside of the turkey.

Place your turkey in a roasting rack or shallow pan, and cook breast-side down for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, whenever you see the bird looking very golden. Flip it over so the breast side is up, and cook at 350 degrees for another 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Take it out and let it rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to redistribute the juices before carving.

Roast Turkey with Rosemary and Sage Salt Rub 3

My Thanksgiving table.

Roast Turkey with Rosemary and Sage Salt Rub 4

New recipes at this Thanksgiving dinner:
English Cottage Pie with Ground Beef and Mushrooms
Roast Turkey with Rosemary and Sage Salt Rub
Tater Tot Casserole with Chicken Pot Pie Filling

And the turkey leftover recipes:
How to Make Turkey Stock
Turkey Alphabet Soup
Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
Turkey Quinoa Vegetable Soup

1 year ago today, my inadvertently provocative turkey and Happy Thanksgiving.
2 years ago today, Rosemary Olive Oil Turkey Marinade.
3 years ago today, Lasagna with Meat Sauce.
4 years ago today, jungle red hibiscus flowers.
5 years ago today, little red houses and apple trees.

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