roasted and brined thanksgiving turkey with cornbread jalapeno stuffing..

i watched alton brown's thanksgiving episode of good eats forever ago.. (recipe found here..) and have been making my turkey similar to his recipe ever since.. it makes it so moist and flavorful.. our thanksgiving weekend is busy it consists of several different dinners.. we always go to my moms early around 3 and she has a big blow out.. anywhere from 35 people to one year we had nearly 60+ people.. she makes 3 or 4 turkeys and all the trimmings.. it takes weeks to prepare for it.. then once we have adequately stuffed ourselves we go to pete's moms house around 6 or so... and with family alone that can be 30 people.. this year we are having it pete's sisters house.. i am making a ham, stuffing, grandmommy's sweet potato casserole and pumpkin bread pudding.. pete's brother will make the turkey, mashed taters and another kind of stuffing.. everyone is bringing something it should be a good time.. then on the weekend i make my own thanksgiving dinner.. i really like the left overs.. so i will be consuming a lot of turkey next weekend.. and you won't hear me complaining.. no matter if your thanksgiving is crazy hectic or calm and quiet.. remember to give thanks and enjoy the people you are with..

brined roasted turkey

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 3- 4 hours
servings: 14-16 (general rule of thumb is 1 lb. per person)


1 (14-16 lb.) frozen young turkey

for brine:

1 cup kosher salt
1/2 brown sugar
1 gallon veggie broth/stock or chicken stock/broth
1 tblsp. pepper
1 tblsp. poultry seasoning
1 gallon heavy iced water

for cooking the bird:

1 stick of butter
salt and pepper
stuffing (recipe below)

2 or 3 days before roasting begin thawing your turkey in the fridge.. then once defrosted (about a day before) in a large cooler (we use a gott water cooler) combine broth/stock, salt, sugar, iced water and pepper.. place your thawed turkey, with the innards removed, in the cooler.. set in a cool area for 8-16 hours before cooking. when ready to cook preheat your oven to 350 degrees (f).. remove bird from brine and rinse it off under cold water then place it on a roasting rack and pat dry with paper towels.. melt 1 stick of butter and pour over bird and inside cavity rubbing in while pouring.. (wash hands) then sprinkle with salt and pepper.. stuff cavity with stuffing and cover and put in the oven on the lower rack of the oven... cook for 1 hour 30 minutes.. and check every 30 minutes and baste your chicken with the juices..after about an hour and half remove cover and cook another hour and a half or two.. ok here is where controversy has come up i was always taught to cook your bird 20 minutes per pound meaning that it would take about 5 hours to cook a 14-16 lb. bird.. but my mom called the butterball hotline last year and they said that's old school and a 14-16 lb. bird should take about 3-3.5 hours..  i cooked mine the less amount of time last year and the turkey came out juicy and moist.. what your looking for is an internal temperature of about 155 is when it's time to remove from the oven and when the turkey rests out of the oven it will rise to be about 160-165 which is what your ideal temp should be.. i removed my turkey after about 3 hours loosely covered with a foil tent and allowed it to rest for 30 minutes.. the temp was spot on and the turkey perfectly cooked... *when checking the temp of the bird insert thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh and then the breast* for extremely helpful tips check out this website here..

jalapeno cornbread stuffing

prep time: 30 minutes
cooking time: depends on the size of your bird


1 cup butter, melted
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup apple, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
2-3 jalapenos seeded and chopped (more if you like more heat or you could even leave the seeds in.. and remember these little babies are hot so wash your hands when done and don't touch your face or eyes before washing.. been there done that.. no fun)
1 cup chicken broth
2 6 ounce packages of mrs. cubbison's seasoned corn bread stuffing (one box)
salt and pepper to taste (i like alot of pepper in mine)

in a large mixing bowl combine all the above ingredients.. if it seems dry add a little more chicken brother and/or melted butter.. i let mine sit over night.. then in the morning i stuff my bird.. now if not cooking in the bird then place stuffing in a greased baking dish, cover and bake in a 350 degree (f) oven for about 45 minutes.. remove cover (check again to make sure its not dry.. if it is melt a 1/2 a stick of butter and pour over the stuffing) and bake another 10 minutes longer uncovered..

enjoy and get cook'n!!


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