For Mine and Josh's first Thanksgiving, I made a turkey from Martha Stewarts magazine. I have never made another turkey since. This is the BEST tasting turkey ever. I hate dry, unseasoned turkeys and this turkey will be very moist and tastefull. One of the things that makes it so moist, is the brine you soak it in the night before you are going to cook it. And the spice butter that you baste it with is to die for. Here is the recipe:
Brine: your gonna need a stockpot
4 cups salt
5 cups sugar
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (I use a handful of baby carrots)
2 stalks of celery, also cut
2 onions also cut into pieces
2 leeks also cut (remember to wash of all sand)
3 bay leaves (I use dried)
1 head of garlic cut crosswise (I don't remove the skin)
2 TBLS whole peppercorns
1 TBLS ground cumin
2 teasp crushed red pepper flakes
1 teasp cloves
2 teasp whole allspice (I use ground)
8 cups of water
Boil all of these things until the most of the sugar has desolved (Your house is going to smell amazing)
The Brine has to be completely cooled before soaking the turkey in it overnight. I usually boil the brine on Wen. morning and let it cool in the fridge all day. I put the turkey in a huge ziploc bag that is supposed to be for storage. You can add more water to cover the turkey. Don't forget your turkey has to be completely thawed.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
2 teasp salt
1 teasp ground black pepper
1 teasp dried thyme
1 teasp ground cumin
1 teasp garlic powder
1 teasp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teasp ground allspice
1/4 teasp ground cloves
1/4 teasp ground nutmeg
You can make this several days in advance, just remember to let it soften before you put it on the turkey. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, cover that turkey with the spice butter and cook for 30 min. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees, add more spice butter, and cover the turkey with foil. Put the spice butter (we use a pastry brush) on the turkey every 30-45 minutes until the turkey is cooked!
Josh and I made a turkey last weekend. (Because it was $5 and it fed our family for an entire week.) We only used the spice butter, and the turkey was still pretty darn good.
Happy Thanksgiving! MMmm, I can smell and taste the turkey just thinking about it!