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Turkey Tips

Chef Greg's Turkey Tips

Spice up the holidays with Turkey Tips from Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa's Executive Chef Greg Sgarro!

Chef Greg's Turkey Tips

Give yourself enough time to defrost
If you go the frozen bird route, you are going to need 1 day of defrosting time for every 5 pounds of turkey. So, if any of you plan on roasting a frozen 20 pounder, you should put that bad boy in the fridge on Saturday.

How to Make Brine
If you’re not using a kosher turkey, brining it is a great option for extra-flavorful, moist meat. In a large pot, combine 5-1/2 oz. kosher salt (1 cup Diamond Crystal or 1/2 cup Morton’s), 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 quarts cool water. Put the pot over high heat and stir occasionally until the salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in another 2 quarts water and chill in the refrigerator; add 2 sprigs thyme and rosemary, 4 cloves garlic, and 1 small onion chopped rough. Place Bird in  Brine for 24 hours in refrigerator.

Remove the turkey from brine the day before (WED)
Leaving your bird uncovered in the fridge for 8-10 hours before cooking dries out the skin, which will give it that beautifully browned, extra-crispy exterior that we all dream about.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in lowest position.

Pull Turkey out of Refrigerator, let stand for 2 hours

Pat Turkey Dry with a clean towel, place on roasting rack brush with melted butter.

INSERT Thermometer into thickest part of breast at center.

Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Roast 30 minutes.

Reduce temperature to 350 degrees
Roast, brushing every 30 minutes with whole butter, cook 2 1/2 hours more; cover with foil if browning too quickly.

Remove your turkey from the oven when the thickest part of the breast reads 155-160 degrees on a thermometer. This may sound early to you, but the temperature will continue to rise to about 170 degrees once you take the bird out of the oven. DO NOT PULL THE THERMOMETER OUT!!!

Let your turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.
Resting the bird loosely tented with aluminum foil allows all the delicious juices to redistribute, giving you the most tender meat possible.