When I tell people that I brine my whole Thanksgiving turkey in buttermilk I usually get a questionable look. Using a buttermilk brine to add moisture and flavor is normally reserved for small cuts of poultry since it can be rather on the expensive side.
BUT IT’S FREAKIN THANKSGIVING!!! IT’S TIME TO BRING YOUR A-GAME!! During the holidays is the only time I use a buttermilk brine on my whole chickens and turkeys. It takes the moisture & flavor to a whole new level!! And I know that I will NEVER have any leftover turkey to deal with. By the end of the evening that poor turkey looks like a pack of vultures got ahold to it. It is picked cleaned!
I love this recipe because it is so quick & easy. The simple blend of butter, olive oil, and spices work fabulously with this turkey. It adds succulent flavor without overpowering it. And that chicken stock basting crisps up the skin beautifully, adding that punch of flavor ….PERFECTION I TELL YA!!
Whenever I make turkey any other way during the holidays I get “oh… you used a new recipe.” in other words “I would have stayed home if I knew you weren’t going to make that Buttermilk Brined Herb Roasted Turkey!”
How To Cook A Turkey ~Herb Roasted Whole Turkey Recipe With Buttermilk Brine Recipe ~ Moist & Flavorful!!!
By Divas Can Cook
- Enough for a 10 lb. turkey. Double the recipe if needed)
- 1 gallon of buttermilk
- 8 Tablespoon of Kosher salt
- 8 Tablespoons sugar
- 3 teaspoons of cumin
- 3 Tablespoons of peppercorns 6-8 fresh, chopped garlic cloves 1 large white onion, chopped
- Rub #1
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon of Poultry Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
- Dry Rub #2
- 1 Tablespoon Poultry Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- Final Butter Rub #3
- ½ stick of butter
- 1 Tablespoon of rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon of paprika (can more if desired)
- 2 cups of chicken broth (to pour in a roasting pan)
- Remove giblet, neck, & gravy packets from inside of the turkey. Place in the refrigerator or discard. Thoroughly wash your completely thawed turkey in cold water & set aside
- In a large bowl add buttermilk, salt, sugar & cumin. Whisk until sugar & salt is dissolved.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients.
- Place turkey in brining bag (I used a regular roasting bag) & place it into a roaster pan or a large bucket or pot.
- Pour the brine mixture into the bag. Gather the top of the bag tightly so that there is no air in the bag and the brine covers the turkey entirely. Tie the bag.
- Place into the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours. The longer the better!
- When done
briningwash the turkey thoroughly with cold water.
- Preheat oven to 325
- Place turkey on a rack over the sink. (I just take out an oven rack & place it over the sink. It's a lot easier to work over the sink on a rack) Place your brined & washed turkey on the rack & pat dry.
- Make Butter Rub #1 by creaming the butter in a bowl. Add in poultry seasoning, cajun seasoning, & olive oil. Mix until combined. Set aside.
- Make Dry Rub #2 by adding Poultry seasoning, & cajun spice into a bowl. Set aside
- Using half of the butter mixture spread it under the skin and inside the cavity. Do not spread any on the top skin.
- Bring a pot of water to boil.
- Using a measuring cup, scoop out cup bulls of the boiling hot water and pour it over the skin of the bird. (try not to get it in the cavity.) The skin will instantly contract around the bird. This will help seal in the juices as the turkey cooks.
- Next lather on the remaining butter mixture on top of the skin & sprinkle on the Dry Rub.
- Stuff the turkey's cavity with a whole apple & orange. Do not cut the apple and orange up unless you need to.
- Pour chicken broth into the bottom of a roasting pan,
- Place turkey (breast side down ) on the rack in a roasting pan. And cook according to weight. Basting every 30-45 minutes.
- Halfway through roasting, turn turkey breast side up.
- When turkey has about 3-4 minutes left,
make upButter Rub #3 by combing all ingredients together.
- Remove turkey from oven and brush on Butter rub #3. Return it to the oven and broil for 3-4 minutes. This will crisp up the skin. Watch it carefully though as it browns very quickly.
- Remove from oven and let sit for at least 15 minutes before carving. This allows the meat to relax and the juices to settle deeper into the meat.
- Remove & discard the apple and orange.
* Be sure to brine for at least 8 hours.
* Cook Your turkey according to weight & use a thermometer to check for doneness. Your turkey will come with a cooking chart. * DON'T OVERCOOK! You can have the best turkey recipe in the world but if you overcook it you might as well call it a wrap! There is nothing worse than a dry bird in my opinion. Don't be scared to check your bird's temperature often.
*If you aren't using stuffing to stuff your bird, go with an apple and orange. These are the BEST fruits to use to provide maximum moisture
*Baste often, at least every 30 minutes.