DR WESTERMEYER’S WORLD FAMOUS TURKEY RECIPIE
TWO DAYS OF PREPARATION
- Strong, rigid NON disposable turkey pan
- About 3 cups salt.
- 3 cups sugar.
- Liquid smoke.
- Red pepper optional.
- Frozen bottles of water.
- Ice chest just a little bigger than the bird.
- Skewers big enough to support bird over pan.
Start brining at least a day or two BEFORE you cook the turkey. It has to brine for 12-18 hours and warm up to room temp before going in the oven. (½ cup sugar + ½ cup salt per 1 gal water in ice chest with turkey for at least 12-18 hours for a 15 lb bird).
You can do the same with fresh pork, ham, fish or chicken.
Place turkey in ice chest and cover with water about 1” higher than bird. Take bird out of ice chest. Measure the amount of water that is in the cooler. Put that same amount back into cooler and for every gal of water mix in ½ cup sugar and ½ cup salt. Optional: add 3 tablespoons liquid smoke, 5 minced cloves of garlic and 2 tablespoons red pepper. Place bird back in cooler. Then put a frozen bottle of water at the corners of the cooler. For the next 18 hours of brining the temp should not exceed 50 degrees. (You won’t impress your guests with tomane).
If you aren’t going to cook the bird for a day or two, place it back in the frige covered with saran wrap so it doesn’t dry out, but make sure you take it out at least 5 hours BEFORE cooking so it is ROOM TEMPURATURE when you put bird into the preheated oven at 350 degrees. DO NOT STUFF THE BIRD. Stuffing the bird or cooking it while still cool makes for an over cooked dry breast and that is what all of this is about avoiding.
Skewer the bird transversely from right to left with at least two long heavy duty skewers long enough that they cross the sides of the turkey pan and heavy duty enough to hold the turkey UPSIDE DOWN, BREAST DOWN, but not touching the inside of the rigid pan (a tin foil disposable pan wont do!). Stuffing has way better texture and flavor is just as good cooked in casserole pan.
Place meat thermometer in deepest part of thigh. Take turkey out of oven when meat is 170 degrees. If possible, have assistant stabilize pan while another takes out skewers. CAREFULLY roll bird onto its back and then place it back into the oven on high or broil to brown breast. Take bird out when it reaches 180 degrees. Let it set for 20 min and then carve.