All you need:
1. A Turkey - Ask your butcher the best size for your dinner
2. 1/2 cup J Christopher Co. THE RUB (1/2 bottle)
3. 1/2 stick butter for coating (or canola oil to stay Kosher)
4. 1/2 Onion, 2 celery sticks, 2 carrots
5. Brine (optional)
6. Stuffing (optional)
7. Roasting pan & rack
8. Aluminum foil
Total cook time: 3.5 - 4 hours
Three days before:
One day before:
Brine the turkey if you wish. I like Alton Brown's brine recipe and technique.
One hour before cooking:
Rinse & blot dry your bird, then coat with butter. Generously apply THE RUB to the turkey, all over - on top, under the skin, and inside! Rough chop veggies and place inside bird.
Add your bread stuffing if you prefer, though we don’t recommend cooking it in the turkey due to cooking times. Besides, dressing is better and safer! (and Salmonella is icky...) Tie the legs together and place on roasting pan rack, in a roasting pan that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Let it rest in the refrigerator for one hour, then remove.
Heat the oven to 500˚ F and cook for 20 - 30 minutes, neck side pointing in. While cooking, take a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, long enough to fold in half and cover the turkey breast. Once the bird has browned nicely, cover it with the “breast plate” foil. Reduce the temperature to 350˚F (176˚C), return it to the oven, and cook at least to 161˚ F (71˚C) in the breast meat. Use a good probe thermometer. (ThermoWorks makes a great one.) So, for an 18 Lbs bird, it will take about 2 to 2.5 hours more to finish cooking. Also, DO NOT BASTE! The moisture should stay in with the browned skin, so there is no need to and it just lets heat out of the oven. (Which makes dinner later...)
Rest the bird: It will continue to cook while resting for 20 - 30 minutes and reach 165˚F+ (74˚C). Plus, if you cut the turkey any sooner, the juices will go everywhere, leaving you with a dry turkey. (Dry Turkey=Bad Turkey)
Carve and serve when all the fixin’s are ready! Happy Holidays!