Brined and Roasted Turkey

Brining a turkey ensures full flavor and juiciness. It only requires a few extra steps and the payoff is well worth it!

Brined and Roasted Turkey

Turkey. It’s an obvious choice when it comes to planning a Thanksgiving menu. I mean, can you imagine Thanksgiving without it?!? Blasphomy! But there are a variety of ways in which you can prepare a turkey. You can fry it, roast it, cover it in bacon and roast it, stuff it, leave the stuffing outside the bird, the options are endless.

When I roasted my first turkey a couple years ago, I turned to my cooking hero, Alton Brown, for the recipe. For those of you who me on Instagram, you’ll remember that I just saw AB again recently. I have met him before, at a book signing in Boston, and when I found out he was touring this year, I knew I had to go. The best way to describe his show was that it was a variety show which consisted of AB doing things he loves. Cooking demos on huge scales. Singing original songs about food (including a song about dry pork chops and one about Easy Bake ovens). And yeast puppets burping. And farting. The show was awesome, and I’d love to see it again. If you have the chance, I highly recommend it.

But back to the turkey. A couple years ago, Hubby and I weren’t traveling for Thanksgiving so we did a mini Thanksgiving meal for the two of us. Alton Brown’s cookbooks are a constant reference for us and that’s where we turned to find a recipe. His brined and roasted turkey comes out perfectly every time. Instead of using a cooler, we simply buy one of the huge ziplock bags that are intended to hold sweaters under your bed and pour the brine in the giant bag. Then put the turkey in the bag, seal it up, and store in the fridge. It works like a charm every time. Obviously you can use a cooler if you want, but we found this method easier.

Brined and Roasted Turkey

If you’re still searching for the perfect turkey recipe, or if you have one but you’re not in love with it, I highly recommend this one. There’s a reason it’s the most reviewed, most viewed, most popular recipe on the Food Network website. To watch AB make this recipe, check out the Good Eats video here.

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Brined and Roasted Turkey

Brining a turkey ensures full flavor and juiciness. It only requires a few extra steps and the payoff is well worth it!

Ingredients:

1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the Brine
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp allspice berries
1 1/2 tsp chopped candied ginger
1 gallon heavily iced water

For the Aromatics
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil

Directions:

2 to 3 days before Roasting
Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat
Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

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33 Responses to “Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake”

  1. #
    1
    Lindsay @ Peace, Love and French Fries — December 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    that cake is so beautiful, and sounds delicious!

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    Kim — December 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Wow! Your pictures are amazing! I would love to sink my teeth into that cake right now!

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    SimplySweeter — December 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Well…. you’ve done it again! Now, I simply have to add this to my Christmas Eve repetoire. It is fabulous! So many recipes….not enough time!

    http://www.simplysweeter.blogspot.com

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    4
    Meesh — December 15, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    wow! this look unbelievable. I might have to conquer my fear of baking just for this.

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    Shannon — December 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Wow, that is stunning! Nice job!

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    Boston Food Diary — December 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Whoa..this looks beyond incredible…I dont think my sweet tooth will be satisfied ever without this!

  7. #
    7
    Karin — December 15, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    I have to do this for Christmas dessert! Thanks for sharing!

  8. #
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    ErinsFoodFiles — December 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    C’est magnifique! Great job!!

  9. #
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    Krystal — December 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Seriously, that looks downright sinful and gorgeous!!! Just amazing Jen!

  10. #
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    Shannon — December 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    wow, this is over the top 🙂 but totally worth it!! looks awesome!

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    Cupcake Activist — December 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    What a great combination of flavors! I can almost smell the cake. Yum!!

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    Sinful Sundays — December 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    STUNNING! Good job on this, I want a piece!

  13. #
    13
    EliFla — December 15, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    …great cake!!! and happy bday to Z!!! Hugs, ciao Flavia

  14. #
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    Melissa @ Made in Melissa's Kitchen — December 15, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    What am amazing cake! I love the bright red and contrasting white, simmply beautiful!

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    Rhondi — December 15, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    What a beautiful cake! My family would love this. Cheesecake and red velvet are my hubby’s favorites. Maybe I will make it for his birthday!

  16. #
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    Sherry G — December 15, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Talk about impressive! You go!

  17. #
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    The Small Boston Kitchen — December 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    And just when I think you can’t keep coming up with brilliant ideas and delicious photos…this looks/sounds utterly amazing!

  18. #
    18
    Megan — December 16, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Cheesecake in between the cake layers… OMG. You so outdid yourself. That is amazing!

  19. #
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    MaryMary — December 16, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Wow. I saw a similar cheesecake but couldn’t fint a recipe so resolved to just make “plain ole red velvet cupcakes.” This looks so much better!

  20. #
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    Susan — December 16, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Oh My – this looks so amazing!

  21. #
    21
    KV — December 16, 2010 at 4:15 am

    that looks awesome! I saw something similar in the Sam’s club add that I’ve been wanting to try but homemade would be even better

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    22
    Vickii — December 16, 2010 at 11:25 am

    This cake looks so beautiful and I bet it tastes INCREDIBLE! I couldn’t print it out fast enough – I’m definitely trying it in the new year! Wow!

  23. #
    23
    Caroline — December 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    this has been on my ‘want to try’ list for a while! Maybe this will be the push i need to give it a try!

  24. #
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    Katrina — December 17, 2010 at 1:49 am

    That cake looks gorgeous and delicious!

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    Elizabeth — December 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    This is so cool! The only reason I like red velvet is the cream cheese frosting and this just takes it to a whole new level!

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    Pretty. Good. Food. — December 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Wow, where to begin?! That bright red is gorgeous! The cheesecake hiding in the center sounds ridiculously delicious! Gorgeous photos too:)

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    Dina — December 17, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    this is a perfect holiday cake! great idea.

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    Cakebrain — December 18, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    What a great idea! I love how the cheesecake layer looks so impressive sandwiched between the shockingly red red velvet layers!

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    Nutmeg Nanny — December 20, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Ok this looks amazing!

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    Joanne — December 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Hey girl, I am 100% sure I am going to make this for Christmas…it looks amazing! Just wondering…you used a 9″ springform pan for the cheesecake, right?

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    Jen — January 2, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Joanne, Sorry for the delay, but yet, I used a springform pan for the cheesecake. I think that’s why it came out a tad bigger than the cake layers. Did you make it for Christmas? How did it turn out?

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    Anonymous — January 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I made this for Christmas and it was absolutely AMAZING! My family really enjoyed it and I already have thoughts of the other cakes that would be incredible with a layer of cheesecake inbetween. What a great idea!

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    Sheka — September 24, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    This looks amazing! I am making 60 red velvet cupcakes for my cousin’s homecoming. I used the red velvet recipe without the cheesecake…AMAZING! The best recipe I have found yet. Thanks, keep it up!

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